Cabaret . 卡巴来

I’m not sure exactly when it happened, but at some point in my last year of college, I became obsessed with cabaret. Not the type that you’ll find at Don’t Tell Mamma down in New York’s theater district. Or necessarily the type that you see in Bob Fosse’s Cabaret, or mimicked on stage in Chicago. I was singing Kurt Weill, and there was something in the music that told me there was more to be discovered about this art-form. That’s when the journey started.

I began to research: turn of the century music halls, Viennese cafes, Moulin Rouge… and the obsession grew. I even travelled to the original Chat Noir in Paris, and poked my head into some of those airy tiled cafes in Vienna. Studying cabaret combined my love of art nouveau and impressionism, my romanticized visions of European history, and my penchant for dark stories and unhappy endings.

In August 2011, even though I felt still woefully unprepared, I put on my first cabaret at Galapagos Art Space in New York. It was also my last day in the city before moving to China, and boy, did I turn that thing into a blow-out party. I had friends compose and arrange music, I had dancers, a brass band, competing whistlers, aerial dancers and a drag king. I invited every wonderful creative person that had been a part of my life in New York over the past six years to be a part of that show. It was spectacular!

But after it was done, I realized I hadn’t gotten to say everything I needed to.

So in Beijing, I continued to explore why cabaret is so intriguing to me. With both Vamps.Vixens.Vintage (2013), and Siren.Seductress.Shanghai (2014), I got a little closer to the core of cabaret – the darkness, the irreverence, the emotional truths. Cabaret for me is about connecting with and surprising the audience, about being present in the moment, and paying homage to the past. I’m constantly learning more and I love sharing it with others. Please come to my cabarets, or if you’re curious, just come and have a chat with me about it!

 

 

Siren.Seductress.Shanghai. (August 2014)

An immersive musical and theatrical experience of 1920s Shanghai in English and Chinese.

Last time, Miss Kate, the singing madame of Beijing cabaret, took you through the seedy underworld of Weimar Berlin with “Vamps.Vixens.Vintage”. This time, join her as she exposes 1920s Shanghai’s back alleys and steamy jazz clubs. Known for creating immersive theatrical experiences (Songs From the Labyrinth, 798), Miss Kate will weave a story of love, betrayal, and murder, told through dance, song, and more. Come dressed in your vintage best and be transported back to a Shanghai night you’ll never forget.

 

 

 

 

Songs From the Labyrinth (August 2013)

A cast of voices, grand piano, multiple flutes and aerial acrobatics bring to life master composers from Renaissance to French impressionism and beyond in the hidden recesses of a converted factory at Beijing’s famous 798 Art District. Lose yourself in a sumptuous, haunting journey of melancholy and rapture.

Music by Bartok, Debussy, Faure, Gesualdo, Handel, Piazzolla, Ravel, Respighi, and Stravinsky.

Performed by Kate Smith, Alan Lee, Bruce Gremo, Denny Xu, Debbie Van-Ginkel, and Nine Gates Polyphony.

August 9th and 10th, 2013 8pm

 

 

 

Vamps.Vixens.Vintage Cabaret, Beijing (April 2013)

Back by popular demand, the Weimar-themed cabaret Vamps.Vixens.Vintage is returning to Hot Cat Club on April 4th and April 6th for two more performances! Join Miss Kate and Alan Lee as they take you on a scintillating journey through 1930s Berlin. Explore the city’s late night underworld of exclusive nightclubs where shocking and degenerate art of all kinds is on display; the paintings of Otto Dix and Jeanne Mammen, the music of Kurt Weill and Frederick Holleander, the dance of Josephine Baker and Anita Berber. We’ll be adding new songs from Miss Kate, all new period dances from Moonglow Burlesque, spoken word, and of course, the return of our fabulous drag queens, The Fascinators. It’ll be a night you’re not likely to forget!

 

 

Lolo and the Midnight Cabaret, New York (August 2011)


 

 

Repertoire
Below are the songs that I have performed in my cabarets. I’m pleased to perform and/or talk about any of these songs at your event, or to you, if you’re curious.

Music-hall Period, late 1800s early 1900s
Diva de l’empire, Erik Satie, 1904

1930s
Complainte de la Seine, Weill, 1933
Es Regnet, Weill, 1933
Je ne t’aime pas, Weill, 1934
Nanna’s Lied, Weill, 1939
Roter Mohn, Michael Jary, 1938
I Am a Vamp, Spoliansky, 1932
Tell Me the Truth About Love, Benjamin Britten, poetry by Auden, 1937-9
Funeral Blues, Benjamin Britten, poetry by Auden, 1937-9
Ich bin von Kopf bis Fuß auf Liebe eingestellt, Friedrich Hollaender, 1930
Take it Off Petronella, Friedrich Holländer, 1930s
Falling in Love Again, Hollander, 1930
Lili Marlene, Schultze, 1938

1940s
It’s Oh So Quiet, Hans Lang and Erich Meder, 1948
Wir Machen Musik, Peter Igelhoff, Adolf Steimel, 1942

Modern
Lua Descolorida, Osvaldo Golijov, 2002
Ne me quitte pas, Jacques Brel, 1959
Is That All There Is, Jerry Leiber and Mike Stoller, 1969
Waitin, Bolcom, 1985 

Chinese
梅花 Plum Blossom
秋夜 Autumn Night
不要唱吧 Stop Singing
等着你回来 Waiting for Your Return
我要回家 I Want to Go Home
恨不相逢未嫁时 If Only We Had Met Before I Was Married
玫瑰我爱你 Rose I Love You
夜上海 Shanghai Night
满天星 Sky Full of Stars

Previous Cabarets

Siren.Seductress.Shanghai.
July 24th and 25th, 2014
Hot Cat Club, Beijing, China 

Songs from the Labyrinth
August 9th and 10th, 2013
Yuanfen New Media Art Space, Beijing, China

Vamps.Vixens.Vintage.Returns.
April 4th and 6th, 2013
Hot Cat Club, Beijing, China

Vamps.Vixens.Vintage.
March 1st, 2013
Hot Cat Club, Beijing, China

Lolo and the Midnight Cabaret
August 10th, 2011
Galapagos Art Space, Brooklyn, NY

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