Vaudeville is alive and well at Buddies in Bad Times Theatre and it’s here, it’s queer and it’s fabulous! The artists in the Cabaret were asked to dream up their performances inspired by queer pop culture from the turn of the 20th century to the present and the result is a big, flashy array of merriment overlapping a subtle -yet poignant- socio-political comment on the history of queer culture and its reception. From the moment they enter the theatre, the audience is greeted with warmth and tongue-in-cheek humor by Keith Cole (the MC). Jonathan Monro plays the piano impeccably, while emanating charm and singing in his dreamy voice, and Paula Wolfson sings incredible, fresh renditions of classics like “Material Girl.” The music continues throughout the evening, inter-spliced with a hilarious (and flawless) performance by Stephen Lawson as Judy Garland, a fearless comment on the state of feminism today, a profoundly intelligent look at the Catholic Church and a moment of communal spirit as the audience bursts into “Sing if You’re Glad to be Gay”.
The Cabaret uses an effective mixture of live performance and beautifully edited audio and visual material by Aaron Pollard, which overlap and invite the audience to interpret how these performances contradict or connect and the story told when two-often opposing- thoughts come together.
In relaying this to you, it sounds artsy and immersed in queer culture. That’s true, but mostly Arthouse Cabaret is fun, sexy, charming and gracious. No matter if you’re gay, straight, bi-curious, male, female or anywhere in between- grab those stilettos and run down to Buddies in Bad Times and catch this show!
Arthouse Cabaret runs until October 20th at Buddies In Bad Times Theatre Company, 12 Alexander Street. For tickets call 416 975-8555 or visit http://www.buddiesinbadtimestheatre.com/. (Please note: Show contains nudity and sexuality and is recommended for adult audiences only).