A more theatrical Cabaret of Souls from Richard Thompson at UCLA’s Royce Hall
After 2 days of workshopping and performing at Idyllwild, the company of Cabaret of Souls returned to Los Angeles for the most theatrical presentation of the work yet, presented by UCLA Live at the lovely Royce Hall.
A full day of tech preceded the evening performance.
With only one run through before the performance to do everything, it took a crack team to hang, focus and program lights, make decisions about how many and which costumes to use, create hair and makeup palettes, on top of all the normal technical demands of any concert. This piece is a hybrid, part concert, part theater, part… folk oratorio. Saturday night’s performance was another step in showcasing the immense possibilities for not only this specific piece, but for how forms can be stretched, embroidered, and made new by a master like Mr. Thompson. The wildly enthusiastic crowd drew the performers back for multiple bows with an extended standing ovation.
I hope some of you listened to me and came down. If ever you get a chance to see this performed anywhere, please go. You get murder ballads, marches, dances, among other compositions, as well as the wicked wit and deep humanity that one has come to admire in the vast and visceral catalogue of this unique creator. The songs want to be heard!