Cabaret Tip Tuesday At McElrath Cabaret: Think About Performance Size When Working In A Small Cabaret Room–Join Us!


A video history lesson from some of the brightest lights in cabaret entertainment and Broadway theatre–Cy Coleman, Betty Comden and Adolph Green–talking about favorite shows and songs! Enjoy!


Welcome to Cabaret Tip Tuesday at McElrath Cabaret, where we offer cabaret performance tips to help you put together a great performance at your next show!


Today I’m thinking about performance tips for cabaret singers, so my tip for you today is this: think about performance size when working in a small cabaret room.


Most rooms where cabaret is performed are fairly small, with audiences of no more than 100 people or so.  The stage is often very close to where the audience is seated.


What this means is that when you are acting your lyrics, you have the ability to be rather subtle with your physicalizations, because the audience is so close to you.  This is a great opportunity to stand still and let your face and your hands help to deliver the message of the lyrics.


However, I think it really depends upon the song lyric that you are presenting.  If the lyric is right and you’ve set up the proper mood, I don’t have a problem with being big on stage.  Belt, and move around through the audience–that works on a big, boisterous number, if your acting choices are appropriate for the lyrics you are trying to communicate.  But that would be pretty inappropriate when you are presenting a quiet, heartfelt ballad, for example.


Think of how you might tell a friend a story at a party.  There would be no need to wave your arms over your head and scream, unless the story your were telling warranted that sort of exaggerated physical action, because your friend is standing right in front of you.  Such is the case with your audience in a cabaret room.  You can say most of it with your voice and your face.


For the actor of lyrics that you are, the physicality comes from your subtext.  What you are thinking in terms of subtext will affect how your move and what you do with your body.  Just tune into what the lyrics are telling you, and you’ll be fine.

Hope these tips help–let us know what other topics you’d like to see us cover here, and we’ll do our best to work through them!


How do you like to work in a small cabaret room?  Do you have any other cabaret show tips you’d like to share?  Do tell down in the comments! We always love to hear from our readers!


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ps–The Cabaret Soiree Link Party is still going strong–you can visit anytime to click on the links and see what others have posted, or you can share your own recent cabaret blog or cabaret website link from now through Thursday.  Link is below.


Weekly Post Lineup At McElrath Cabaret:

Mondays:  Cabaret Soiree Cabaret Blog Link Party

Tuesdays:  Cabaret Tip Tuesday

Wednesdays:  Ask A Cabaret Question

Thursdays:  Featured Cabaret Blog, Website, Performer

Fridays:  Cabaret Through Time

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About Athena at McElrath Cabaret

Athena McElrath is an entertainer with a love for theatre and singing. She enjoys delving in the area of historical cabaret, researching the singers and clubs that were in business from before 1920 to the present, in New York and beyond.
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