Cabaret Update

We worked on our sets today. Found out we really need two sets for our upcoming gig, so we decided on songs and song order.  It is a wonderfully creative process to pair and group songs together–Broadway and the American songbook provide a fertile ground for foraging for excellent material. 

We visited the venue site and took a close look at where we’d be performing.  Took stage measurements, took a look at what the sound system was like and where electrical outlets were.  We also looked at how close the audience was to the stage, and just took in all the variables that would play a part in how we perform the sets we are preparing.  We sat where the audience sat and hung out for a while.  Even though the temperatures were mild, it became very warm out there due to radiant heat coming up off the stone flooring used in the seating area, so this will certainly have an impact on how comfortable the audience is and even how comfortable we are as we perform.  Comfortable clothing is kind of a must, and probably a fan for the stage area.

Another aspect that I am working on is clothing appropriate for cabaret gigs.  Men have it kind of easy, in that a tuxedo is always great–just change out the vest and tie, and you are set.  Women have more flexibility and options, but so many choices to make.  I am going for a short black skirt that has elastic in the back so it’s easy to breathe but shows off the legs a bit.  I need a dark purple blouse that is fitted and tailored but doesn’t  cost a fortune.  Bought a black boa for one boa song that I’m planning on doing. 

We worked on putting our song books together today.  What a project that is–but so creative.  Many great ideas just bantering about what we like and connections we can make between songs.  It takes a long time to come up with good song selections, so give yourself plenty of time to research songs and think about the lyrics.

What sets are you working on right now?  How to do you go about making connections between and among songs that the audience will recognize?  Do tell in the comments.

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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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