I apologize (again!) for not attending the Yale Cabaret last semester. Living a few miles out of town and not yet being able to drive a car has curtailed some of my theatergoing activities. For 30 years the Cabaret was my neighborhood theater that always had a seat for me on Friday night at 11 p.m. I’ll get back there soon, I hope, but for now, instead of reviews of Cabaret shows you’ll have to settle for this preview of what the space is offering in the coming months.
Here’s the just-released Yale Cabaret spring season. Performances are Thursdays at 8 p.m. and Fridays and Saturdays at 8 & 11 p.m. downstairs at 217 Park St., New Haven. Yale Cabaret tickets are $25, but an even better deal is to buy a FlexPass at $90 for six tickets (useable anytime). (203) 432-1566, http://yalecabaret.org
Feb. 5-7: Episode 121: Catfight—A Satirical Re-Imagining of the 1960s Batman Television Series, by Steven Koernig and Tori Keenan-Zelt, directed by Koernig. What with the Batman series finally out on DVD (following decades of rights-negotiations hell) and the popular DC comic Batman ’66 paying tribute to that same swinging era of caped crimefighting, a style parody of the action serial which starred Adam West and Burt Ward and featured cameos by everyone in Hollywood is perfectly timed.
Feb. 12-14: The Cabaret is dark.
Feb. 19-21: Shiny Objects, conceived by and featuring Maura Hooper and Zenzi Williams, directed by Chris Geary. I was much taken by Maura Hooper in Lee Ryan Campbell’s A New Saint for a New World at the Cabaret last year. This show is described thus: “After interviewing women of all ages, two actors weave together their stories to create a map of where we’ve been and where we are. Oral histories collide in a world where generations of women are increasingly polarized.”
Feb. 26-28: The Untitled Project, conceived and directed by Ato Blankson-Wood. Followed the evening of women’s stories above, this is a “devised theater event examining the history of black maleness.” In the YSD acting program, Blankson-Wood has been distinctive for his bold range, from drag queen to gritty drama. He directed for the first time at the Cabaret last fall, helming Emily Zemba’s Look Up, Speak Nicely, and Don’t Twiddle Your Fingers All The Time.
March 5-7: Georg Büchner’s bizarre political satire Leonce and Lena, translated by Gavin Whitehead, directed by Elizabeth Dinkova, and featuring both live actors and puppets. The fantastical comedy was written a year before Büchner died in 1837, but not staged until 1895.
March 12-14: The Cabaret is dark.
March 19-21: The Cabaret is dark.
March 26-28: Gian Carlo Menotti’s hour-long chamber opera The Medium, which had its Broadway premiere in 1947 and was turned into a film in 1951 and a Studio One TV special in 1960. The Yale Cabaret hasn’t listed a director or other details for this presentation.
April 2-4: Sister Sandman Please, written and directed by Jessica Rizzo. Described as a “poetic tete-a-tete” and “a cascade of voices, dreams and desires” which “takes place in a prairie of the mind.” Rizzo is in the YSD dramaturgy program.
April 9-11: The Cabaret is dark.
April 16-18: The Cabaret is dark.
April 23-25: The season concludes with Make Believe the Make Happen. Here’s the verbatim description, replete with sideways smily face: “Attn.: Charity Tycoons of New Haven! You are cordially invited, with warmth and cheer, to the Make Believe the Make Happen Tons-of-FUNdraiser to support the 11th Anniversary Season of the esteemed, Iowa-based, youth playmaking program #KIDSDIDIT! We bring you a collection of splendiferous short plays, straight from the imaginations of a talented bunch of middle-schoolers to be performed by us, the adult acting company 🙂 If you believe in the redemptive power of song, dance, and childlike whimsy-wonder, open your hearts and your wallets to Make Believe the Make Happen one more year…at least. Hope to see you there!!”
As “KIDSDIDIT Iowa” seems to bring up no hits on Google, I suspect something along the lines of Cats Talk Back, a great Cabaret cut-up of decades ago. We shall see.