It’s no secret that I love every show by Kat Robichaud and Misfit Cabaret since I’ve seen every performance they have done at Great Star Theater and always post about it on social media. Last night I went to the current show, GRIMM, which is playing this weekend and next only (get your tickets), and it got me thinking about why I like these shows so much. Here are the top seven reasons:
1. Themed Performances That Don’t Take Themselves Too Seriously
Each show has a theme around which the songs, costumes and acts are based. The themes are always original, unique, and artistic. But they also don’t take themselves too seriously. The theme is more of a starting point for each act to use as inspiration than a guideline for what will be found in the night’s performance. Grimm, of course, is derived from the fairy tales, with divergent acts including Snow White, puppetry, references to once upon a time and Neverending Story and more. It’s always fun to see the different interpretations of a theme, some of them looser than others. The next show after Grimm, Cinepheilia, is themed around cult films.
2. Kat’s Original Songs
Kat’s voice is the big draw for me and I always love her original lyrics. She writes two original pieces for every Misfit Cabaret themed show. They’re the highlight of every show in my opinion. In fact, when I saw her perform at this year’s Edwardian Ball, where she sung several of those originals, I suddenly realized that I knew a bunch of her songs by heart.
3. The Medleys
They also have a couple of song medleys in each performance, suited to the theme but drawing from a diverse array of different musical genres. They are endlessly fun every time. I love that there’s always a mixture of songs I know so well and songs I’ve never heard.
A great cabaret performance includes a range of different acts and Misfit Cabaret always meets that criteria. Kat is undeniably the star of the show but she does a great job of humbly highlighting the skills and talents of everyone she brings to her stage. There are people who have been featured in more than one show and new people each time and it’s always a delight to be introduced to both. GRIMM’s standout is Eliza Rickman who shared three songs last night, for two of which she accompanied herself on xylophone. She has a truly magical, ethereal voice. Amazing. That’s not to say that the other performers weren’t also great, because they were. Most shows include a burlesque performance and an aerial dance; those were both great pieces in GRIMM as well.
Eliza Rickman is working on a video for this song funded via Kickstarter; she performed the song in GRIMM
5. Quality of Performance Art
Kat’s style is this fabulous mix of classic rock with musical theater. It’s high energy, sexy, dramatic entertainment replete with fabulous costumes and interesting sets. These aren’t high budget productions but so much goes into the making of them that there’s always plenty to delight the senses. I am endlessly entertained throughout every show.
6. Great Star Theater
I won’t wax poetic about this historic Chinatown theater since I’ve mentioned it plenty of times in the past. I’ll just say that it’s an example of everything I love about the arts in San Francisco and it gets better each time I go and I’m thrilled to support the place as much as I can. The next big show isn’t one of Kat’s, but it looks good: Twisted Cabaret in March.
7. It’s San Francisco At It’s Finest
Kat may hail from North Carolina but everything about her seems so San Francisco. There are magical things about this city that captured my heart the first time I saw it and continue to make my heart flutter to this day. They aren’t easily describable in ways that don’t sound cliche but if you love the arts and activism and originality and celebrating-weirdness of this city, the things about the city that have stood the test of time across different social issues and many changes, then you’ll know what I mean. The audience at these shows celebrates that underlying energetic feelings; we are not the only ones to sometimes dress up for the theme, although we wouldn’t go so far as to say we dressed in costume since simple accessories don’t qualify as costumes in this heavily theme-dressed, event-loving city. Kat’s shows exude this “San Francisco creative energy” at every level.
Go see her. Support local art.