Posts Tagged ‘Louis Armstrong’

Saturday Single 515

Saturday, October 29th, 2016

Show time is fast approaching!

For the past four months, I’ve been working with two friends – Lucille Guinta-Bates, a dancer, and Heather Helmer, a singer – on a cabaret-styled program scheduled for three performances during the second weekend of November.

My part in what we’re calling Cabaret De Lune is not huge. I give an opening monologue, accompany Heather on the piano for several songs, join her in singing one, and I perform three of my original songs. I guess when it’s written down like that, it sounds pretty hefty, but in the context of the show – with Lucille offering memoirs as monologues interspersed with dance and Heather singing five numbers – including that duet with me – it doesn’t seem as daunting.

Or so I tell myself.

Beyond performances at our Unitarian Universalist church in the past few years, I haven’t really sung or played in public since the last performance with Jake’s band, which I think took place in the summer of 2000. And I had a whole band behind me then. There are moments in Cabaret De Lune when I am alone at the piano, and I will be performing for people whom I do not know. The prospect of that is un-nerving.

There will be people there whom I know, certainly. The Texas Gal will attend one of our three performances, and my sister and brother-in-law are bringing my mom to one. And there will no doubt be other folks in the audiences for the three performances whom I know, as Lucille, Heather and I know a fair number of people in common. (I met Lucille, our co-director, through Heather, who used to work with the Texas Gal at the legal aid office. And our other co-director, Tom Hergert, is a member of our church.)

So what’s it about? Well, our promotional material says:

Cabaret De Lune is a show that explores themes of feeling alone, different and misunderstood. How do we find our way during the dark times?

If you give yourself the gift of following your bliss you just might also end up finding your tribe.

I’m pretty nervous about it. As I should be. I do know, however, that when the lights go up in our small performance space on Saturday, November 12, and I look up from my perch at the piano and begin to tell the tale that frames our various pieces, I’ll be energized and ready in spite of my nerves.

We’re doing a full run-through this afternoon and a couple full dress rehearsals next weekend, so I’ll be able to polish my performances a little bit more, and I can only hope that all will go well and will continue to do so.

With all that, the only suitable tune this morning, of course, is “Cabaret,” the theme from the 1966 Broadway music, with music by John Kander and lyrics by Fred Ebb. Here’s Louis Armstrong’s take on the tune. It was released in 1966 as a Columbia single, but it did not chart.

For those readers nearby who are interested, Cabaret De Lune will be presented at 5 and 7 p.m., Saturday, November 12, and at 2 p.m. Sunday, November 13, at StudioJeff, which is located at 701 W. Saint Germain St., Suite 201, in downtown St. Cloud. If you need more information, leave me a message here.