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Classic Cabaret

June 29, 2013

p_1117_i_129625The Ruby Besler Cabaret is Classic Cabaret (pardon the alliteration) at its best. It has an old time feel that takes you back to a time when there was no TV and you had to go out for your entertainment.

The story follows the life of Ruby Besler, narrated by Ruby herself. Ruby the daughter of a well off neurosurgeon wants nothing more than to be on stage. The story begins in the present and travels back to her birth and progresses back to the present. Throughout the show Ruby’s Rubies (her cabaret dancers) cut into song and dance with Dorothy Diamond (Gere Fennelly) on piano. As ruby explains life lessons her Rubies hold up anatomically correct posters so we all understand what’s going on.RBC_0108 copy

All Cabarets are full of music and this one is no exception. Each song is funny, as well as thoughtful. With just enough subtext to get the dirty message across. For those who may be extremely dense there are less subtle numbers like “Whore’s bath”, that teaches young ladies how to take a whore’s bath.

I found myself smiling from start to finish, the show was funny and entertaining. Ruby is egotistical, but she can’t help but be so. All her life men have fallen in love at first sight. Top that off with a good brain that her father insist she develop and she can’t help but be self assured and strong.

The Rubies themselves provide the proper scenery to her story, coming and going taking the place of various characters through Ruby’s narration. When not in use, the stand in the background adding a touch of beauty and sophistication to what is otherwise an almost empty stage.

RBC_0549 copyI do have a few qualms with the show, mainly it isn’t long enough. Ruby is an exciting character and you get the feeling she has much more to say. You can’t help but want another number or two when the show is over. My other qualms are technical. While the choreography was traditional cabaret one of the Rubies was always out of sync playing catch up all night. This can be a bit distracting as background performers in cabaret are supposed to add beauty, punctuate the sentence that the main performer is giving. When out of sync it distracts your eyes from Ruby, rather than attracts them to her. My other wish is that there were one or two side performances. Many cabarets have a one off act in the middle (juggling, magic, fire dancing), or at the 1/3 and 2/3 mark. This gives the audience a break from the main arc, and lets the main performers rest. Without this break the main story can seem rushed, and too short.

My qualms aside, this was classic cabaret, and a good one at that. I was able to sit back and enjoy the music and beautiful women on stage. Music plus beautiful women, it’s a great formula that you can’t go wrong with when it comes to cabaret.

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Ruby Besler is running during the Hollywood Fringe Festival

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