Cabaret Handbook

Thinking of Doing a Tribute or Themed Show? Then, You Gotta Get an Arc!

Thinking of Doing a Tribute or Themed Show? Then, You Gotta Get an Arc!

July 19, 2020 | By | 2 Comments

Article #7 in this running series. Let’s say you’ve been in love with Judy Garland and the songs she made famous for years, and you want to do a tribute to her in your next cabaret show.  Or, you think Janis Ian is an underrated songwriter and you want to do a night of all […]

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What is Patter and Why Is It So Important?

What is Patter and Why Is It So Important?

June 29, 2020 | By | 2 Comments

Article #6 in this running series. Patter is such a seemingly trivial term for the talk between songs in a cabaret act. However, the multiple definitions of the word are not all as superficial as the word itself might seem. Patter in the dictionary is 1) the talk with which an entertainer accompanies a routine; […]

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A Great Show Tells a Great  Story

A Great Show Tells a Great Story

May 28, 2020 | By | Add a Comment

Article #5 in this running series. A key factor to creating a successful cabaret act or revue is to give the show an emotional throughline underpinning it. The classic notion of choosing a bunch of songs that you like, and then alternating uptempos with ballads, can create a haphazard and unfocused experience, even if it […]

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Tailoring a Song for the Perfect Fit

Tailoring a Song for the Perfect Fit

May 17, 2020 | By | Add a Comment

Interpretation, not imitation! Article #4 in this running series. Most of the time and, in most performance situations—particularly in cabaret, you’ll want to give every song you perform your own stamp. Why? If you’re trying to find your own voice as a performer and an interpretive artist, the last thing you want to do is […]

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Choosing Songs That Are Right for You

Choosing Songs That Are Right for You

May 4, 2020 | By | Add a Comment

Article #3 in this running series. What draws you to a song and why does it matter? If you like a song, shouldn’t you just go ahead and sing it? Yes, it does matter. And depending on why you fall in love with a song, it may or may not be right for you. Songs […]

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The Importance of Knowing Who You Are

The Importance of Knowing Who You Are

April 12, 2020 | By | 5 Comments

Article #2 in this running series. “Just be yourself on stage.” Sounds easy, right? The truth is it’s anything but easy. Every time you go on stage, you’re playing the role of some person. In theatre, it’s through a character. In cabaret, the person is you. Defining who you are on stage—the aspect(s) of yourself […]

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The Development of the Medium We Call Cabaret

The Development of the Medium We Call Cabaret

April 5, 2020 | By | Add a Comment

This is article #1 in this new running series by Shellen Lubin. You go to see a show. It’s in a nightclub, or a concert hall, or outdoors in a park. There’s one person onstage, or a few people, or maybe there’s no stage at all. They’re singing, and maybe they’re talking, too. There’s one accompanist […]

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The New Cabaret Artist’s Handbook (From the First Note to the Encore)

The New Cabaret Artist’s Handbook (From the First Note to the Encore)

March 29, 2020 | By | 2 Comments

  EDITOR’S NOTE: Twenty years ago, I compiled and edited The Cabaret Artist’s Handbook – Creating Your Own Act in Today’s Liveliest Theater Setting (Back Stage Books). The text was based on the hundreds of “Bistro Bits” columns that Bob Harrington wrote in Back Stage where I was his editor. The chapters covered all the […]

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Heart to Heart: Carol Fredette on communicating with an audience…and much more

Heart to Heart: Carol Fredette on communicating with an audience…and much more

February 27, 2015 | By | Add a Comment

By Wendy Lane Bailey To interview jazz singer Carol Fredette is to get a master class in the art of musicianship taught by a smart savvy woman who is passionate about her craft. Bronx born and raised, she says what she thinks and her thoughts are always worth hearing.   WENDY LANE BAILEY: What was […]

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Anything <Em>Does Not Go</Em>: Cabaret Performance No-No’s

Anything Does Not Go: Cabaret Performance No-No’s

February 27, 2015 | By | Add a Comment

By Jeff Nishball Cole Porter’s classic Anything Goes can be heard in cabarets around the world, its lyrics presenting a loosey-goosey world, where rules and structure be damned. But when it comes to cabaret performance, anything, in fact, does not go. There are a few guidelines a performer should follow, and some definite No-No’s. I […]

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