Thursday, September 11, 2008

Englert Goes Clubbing

Finally the phones have stopped ringing and the window traffic has subsided enough to have time to post what I've been wanting to post all week long. (The King & I is this weekend, so last-minute ticket buyers are coming out in droves)

Last weekend's very first Alley Cabaret was a lot of fun, and a huge success.

I love the feeling before a show, or any kind of event, when you just know it's going to be cool. Walking around on stage at 11:30 PM last Friday night, 15 minutes before the doors opened, there was an unmistakable vibe that something cool was going to happen: small tables set up over most of the stage... a stage-within-a-stage erected at one end, set up with an accordian, piano, drumset, string bass and some microphones... a DJ up in the catwalk, bumping out some ambient electronica that makes me realize why that music gets most of its following through the after-dark club scene... streaks of light against the brick wall...

We opened the alley doors at 11:45 and within 5 minutes had already let in 80 people (5 over capacity). We actually had to turn away around 20 people.

Vocal trio Rock, Paper, Scissors sang old-school cabaret classics and original material alike, occasionally joined by sexy and spot-on choreographed dancing from students in the UI's dance department.

I was on stage for awhile, and then sneaked up to the balcony to get the bird's eye view. It just looked and sounded amazing. The whole evening was flawless: no security issues, no technical issues and everyone seemed to have a good time.

I'm looking forward to the next one, in a couple of weeks, where they're going to put on Edward Albee's The Zoo Story. I'm curious about how the vibe will change, as that play isn't quite the same "scene" as sexily-costumed women singing "The Boogie-Woogie Bugle Boy." The Zoo Story was also the first play I "produced" when I was an undergrad in college, way back in the day, and I haven't seen it since.

It's nice to see something experimental, that was just an idea a few months ago, work out and work so well. Kudos to everyone involved, especially Anthony, Brandon, everyone at the university, and our awesome technical staff.

Here are a few pics from last week:

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