GRIMM or 7 Reasons I Love Every Kat Robichaud / Misfit Cabaret Show

grimm

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.

kat robichaud GRMM

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.

snow white, GRIMM

4. VARIETY!

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.

aerial dance, GRIMM

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.

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Interview with SOULSKIN Dance Artistic Director Adrianna Thompson

soulskin dance

SOULSKIN Dance has an upcoming San Francisco performance called SATIN & SWING that highlights the best of the 1920s flapper era while drawing connections with the period’s relationship to the modern day.

Dance Mission Theatre transforms into a time machine, transporting us back to the 1920s. Glitz and glam sparkle from the dingy corners of a speakeasy. Raucous jazz blares, bringing bejeweled and sequined dancing flapper girls to life. An evening of indulgence has begun. The entry notes of Prince’s “Erotic City” ring in your ears, an echo from another time.

In this interview, artistic director Adrianna Thompson shares more information about the upcoming performance and offers a compelling argument for attending live theater.

SATIN & SWING - Adrianna Thompson SM

How does it feel to return to San Francisco?

Well, first of all I’m from San Francisco – born and raised. I have been back here in the Bay Area for the past five years and I’m thrilled to be back home. I have lived in many places during my lifetime – NYC, LA, Aspen, Colorado … but San Francisco has always officially been my home.

What are your favorite elements of the 1920s? 

The music and the history of that period. The artists that had a clear visionary voice for what was happening during that time period.

SATIN & SWING - Image 02 SM

How does this relate to us today?

The 21st Century reflects similar cultural, political, industrial ideologies as the 1920’s. Many are feeling powerless and without choice. In both eras, the people were exploring new ideas of of who they could be, who they could love, and how they could express themselves.

What is important about Prince’s work that comes through in this performance? 

His work represents sexual revolution, free expression and the ability to love without judgment.

What can you share about your process of choreographing this work?

I like to work with great talent. I work with many collaborators such as DJ artists, composers, multi media designers, costume designers and dancers. I also enjoy creating a nurturing and positive environment that encourages personal growth and potential. To me this is the complete and universal truth of creativity when all participants are engaged.

What have been the most difficult part of this project?

What I find most challenging is scheduling everyone’s participation around their other commitments in their lives.

SATIN & SWING - Image 03 SM

What do you hope people take away from the work when seeing it?

I hope that the audience can recognize the importance of live theater and what it shares to our community and the world around us. Live theater, like real life, allows for an experience that happens only once. No two nights are the same. Once the moment is given, it is gone forever.  The beauty lies in the artists and audience sharing an experience that allows for truth to unfold itself before our very eyes.

What do you think is the most important issue facing the arts / dance industry today?  

Art as we know it is becoming more challenging to continue because of the demands of what the world is offering society now. It is hard to survive as an artist. There is a lack of public funding and support is given mainly from private donors who are more likely to support long established institutions than smaller independent artists. It costs a lot of money to be an artist so a lot of great work will never be seen and new voices will never be heard because of the lack of funding.

SATIN & SWING has three performances March 10-12, 2017 at Dance Mission Theater.  DJ CAMCON (Camille Conrotto) will design and live mix music on stage as part of the performance. The evening will open with two works created by guest choreographers: Robert Sund and Dylan Elmore. The 3/11 performance will be live-streamed at 8 pm and can be seen for $10 at Concert Window.

Once again SOULSKIN Dance has teamed up with Andy Mogg Productions to offer a one night only Live Streaming of the performance. Renowned dance photographer Andy Mogg will direct a 3 camera shoot using the latest robotic Pan Tilt Zoom cameras. Live Chat Room participation will be available during the Live Stream.”

Photos by Andy Mogg.

DETAILS

WHAT:            SOULSKIN Dance presents…
SATIN & SWING
SOULSKIN Returns Home to San Francisco for a 4th Season
       with Guest Choreographers Robert Sund and Dylan Elmore.
       Three Virtuosic Cuban Male Dancers perform in Satin & Swing. 
 
WHEN:           March 10, 11 12, 2017 (Fri., Sat. – 8:00 pm / Sun. 7:00 pm)
Limited Engagement  – Only 3 Performances.
 
TIX:                 Tickets $20 – 25 (Gen. Admission). / Tix at door $25.
Advance $20 tickets at www.brownpapertickets.com 
or by calling Brown Paper Tickets at 800-838-3006
 
WHERE:        Dance Mission Theater – 3316 24th St. (at Mission) SF 94110 (24th St. BART)
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