In the Moment: Creative Cauldron’s Summer Cabaret

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Ah, the enduring popularity of sophisticated, stylish cabaret entertainment. Now add-in musical artists who easily mix the known American Songbook standards with the less often heard to bring a closed-eyed, warm sigh of satisfaction to a listener. Oh, and have the venue, an intimate, un-amplified space as the performers provide their own styles and skilled story-telling with wonderfully live musical accompaniment. Now there is a recipe for beguiling evenings.

Soon delightfully urbane cabaret entertainment will be right around the corner as the 2015 Summer Cabaret at Falls Church’s Creative Cauldron opens. Over 11 weekends from early July through mid-September, there will be no need to hightail to NYC, thank you very much. From near and far, the likes of “Three for a Song,” Rachel Zampelli, Bayla Whitten, Sandy Bainum, Bligh Voth, Susan Derry, Chris Sizemore, Nora Palka, Will Mark Stevenson, Iyona Blake, and cast members from the Cauldron’s Once on This Island including Ian Anthony Coleman, Jade Jones, Harrison Lee, and Carl Williams will materialize to sweep patrons away into Off-Broadway.

"Three for a Song" courtesy of Creative Cauldron
“Three for a Song.” Photo courtesy of Creative Cauldron.

Each weekend will bring its own stylizations and personal takes as the different musical artists woo an audience with repertoires that range from the touching, the witty, the tender, the jazz-hot, the whimsical and of course, the heart-breaking.

Laura Connors Hull, founder and producing director, Creative Cauldron. Photo by Gary Mester.
Laura Connors Hull, founder and producing director, Creative Cauldron. Photo by Gary Mester.

In a recent interview with Laura Connors Hull, founder and producing director of Creative Cauldron, described the Summer Cabaret as, “an exceptional line-up of incredible, experienced musical headliners performing in an intimate space.” She added that the performances will be “affordable evenings that will include refreshments and seating up close to the performers.

“Each of the talented performers will create their own journeys through music and interacting with the audience.” Hull added that there will be plenty of surprises in the “chemistry of polished evenings of music and entertainment including old favorites and standards along with less rarely sung songs that will become favorites.

“A musical buffet for the audience” is the way Matt Conner, Creative Cauldron Associate Artist and who curated the 2015 Summer Cabaret described the multi-weekend celebration of musical artistry with its wide array of artists.

For those who may not know Conner, he is a singer, dancer and actor who has had featured roles at Signature Theatre, Olney Theater, Source Theater and other local venues. His original musicals Nevermore, Crossing and The Hollow were premiered at Signature Theatre. It was only a few months ago, that Conner and Stephen Gregory Smith co-directed their world premiere musical and critically acclaimed and Helen Hayes recommended The Turn of the Screw adapted from the Henry James novella at the Cauldron. Conner also recently directed the critically acclaimed musical Once on This Island also at the Cauldron.

Hull also noted that with around 85 seats, “the intimate size is precisely what our audiences have come to love about their experience at Creative Cauldron. As a work of art unfolds before them, the customary barrier between artist and audience seems to melt away, and audiences are keenly aware that they are an integral part of this moment of creation”.

Composer Matt Conner.
Composer Matt Conner.

For the cabaret setting, Creative Cauldron patrons will be able to purchase a limited number of tables for 4 (they include a bottle of wine and floor seating) or tables for two (with two glasses of wine included). And yes, bar has beer/wine/soda, and snacks available.

Summing up the upcoming summer cabaret evenings, Conner called them, “raw and alive, all taking place in a real setting where interaction between performer and audience will happen.” It will be an exciting Off-Broadway-like performance weekend after weekend, with “top-notch talent, so close that the audience can almost reach out and touch the performers.” Not that they should.

Creative Cauldron’s Summer Cabaret plays Friday and Saturday evenings at 8 p.m. from July 10-September 26, 2015 at Creative Cauldron at ArtSpace – 410 South Maple Avenue, in Falls Church, VA.  For tickets, call (703) 436-9948, or purchase them online.