HT: Cardinal’s Cabaret ready to entertain
Connie Shakalis | H-T Columnist
Sunday, May 23, 2021
Cardinal Stage’s Vintage Cabaret: Theater Is Where Theater Happens, and This Time It’s Outdoors. Try to remember the last time you sat anywhere near a stranger to see live theater. It’s going to happen again June 4 and 5 through Cardinal Stage’s “Vintage Broadway Cabaret,” and baritone Philip Christiansen will hopefully not be trying to remember his lyrics as he sings “Try to Remember” from “The Fantasticks.”
He’ll lend his operatic voice to a trio, too.
“Kate (Galvin, artistic director) told us singers to pick a song from a role we wouldn’t necessarily be cast in,” he said in a phone interview. For singers, that increases the fun, because musicals are so often cast by “typing” the people auditioning. Although type-casting has greatly diminished, if you’re Black, tall, male and 25, you’ll still wait a long time to be cast as Annie.
Before the songs were selected, Christiansen said Galvin asked the cast for suggestions; Christiansen voted for “And This Is My Beloved” the marvelous and nearly overwhelming quartet from “Kismet” and “Three Little Maids” from “The Mikado.” He envisioned a burly trio of men replacing the dainty maids, which would get my vote.
If the pandemic hadn’t slowed as it has, Christiansen said Cardinal would have taped the show, as they have their previous cabarets. So we are lucky, and early June should provide exactly the right setting.
My first love of musical theater came from outdoor June nights in Indianapolis attending Starlight Musicals. Swinging my mother’s hand walking across the parking lot one such night — I was 10 — I knew I would somehow someday wangle the role of Maria in “The Sound of Music.” I did, and it was all thanks to those starlit Hoosier summers. I can still hear the cicadas and see those grass-drenching stage lights. Outdoor theater is the best. As someone said on the podcast “Three on the Aisle,” “Theater is wherever theater happens.”
The Cabaret is 7 p.m. June 4 and 5. It’s sold out, but there’s a waiting list through Cardinal’s website, https://cardinalstage.org/mainstage/broadway-cabaret/