For over a decade cabaret has been enjoying a renaissance around the world. The genre refuses to be limited to any one thing, as it shifts and slips between vintage-infused music hall, burlesque, musical theatre, physical comedy, satire into straight up ‘agit prop’ political theatre.
The cabaret scene that began in underground clubs and dives, and to this day, retains its transgressive roots and sense of outrageous spectacle. Cabaret, however, is more than a cross-fertilizing of music, comedy, variety, circus, burlesque, live art, theatre, dance, clubbing, even cinema.
What is “Cabaret Sooke’’?
“Cabaret-Sooke’’ essentially springs out of the creative energies of many of the artists involved with the local theatre group Sooke Harbour Players. It was seen as a way for these artists to continue practicing their craft, honing and sharing their skills with each other, as well as encouraging new voices and divergent talents from the Sooke community to come forth and join forces.
The idea caught the imagination of many artists in the community and they were soon joined by a host of other incredibly talented people.
In early January, Cabaret Sooke secured the support of Sooke Harbour Players and began rehearsing dance numbers, pole, hoops, as well as musical numbers with The Band. The Band is led by Taylor Caspersen (organ, keys, and guitar) and Harry Somers (bass and band leader) and featuring Dave Gallant on guitar, Michael Hamilton on drums, and Gene Sibelius on slide guitar along with special appearances by Miranda Wright on accordion and squeeze box and Sonya Miller on harmonica and slide whistle and percussive instruments.
Along with Jill Sweetin, the show’s creative director, Anthea Browne has worked hard with everyone on choreographing and directing many of the numbers; Marian Schols has also worked hard providing the vocal direction for the artists. And none of it would have been possible without the producing talents of Ross Pratt, Derek Lewers, Ron Larson, and a team of uber talented and dedicated artists.
The artists, musicians, and a dynamic production crew are in the midst of putting the finishing touches on the production this week. So don’t be surprised if you see flashes of performers in fish net stockings or bow ties running in and out of the community hall this week. And get your tickets early, there will be a limited number for sale at the door but word has it that there aren’t many left at the local ticket vendors: The Stick in the Mud, Shoppers, and Kemp Lake Store.
Also, don’t forget by wearing a costume to the show (top hat to dam circus/glam goth/steampunk and everything in between) you will get $5 back at the door for getting into the cabaret spirit.
And it seems everyone wishes to see it happen more often – like a yearly Harvest/Halloween Cabaret night right here in Sooke. But one thing at a time.
Where: Sooke Community Hall, 2037 Sheilds Rd.
When: April 10 & 11 at 8 p.m.
Cabaret with over 20 acts – mild to wild.
Break out dance party to follow with DJ.
This is a 19+ event; I.D. will be checked at the door.