You haven’t been to the Show At Barre in Los Feliz? Really? Well, I don’t have room to talk, because I hadn’t been, either. Better late than never, I always say. But from the looks of it, and the experience I had, the show won’t be going away for a long time… so you aren’t late… yet.

So you are in the know: Although the venue has a variety of entertainment options ranging from cabaret style performances to bands and ensemble acts, featuring Broadway veterans to talented new comers… I will gear my thoughts toward the cabaret end; the “For The Record” shows. On my particular night of attendance, I saw the Baz Luhrmann performance, featuring music acts fromRomeo + JulietStrictly Ballroom, and Moulin Rouge. Past shows have been: The Music of Quentin Tarantino’s Films, John Hughes, Cohen Brothers… you get the idea. Cool, right?

Tips/how it works: Buy tickets ahead of time. Get there early. You will stand in line and wait to be seated in a long, narrow bar space. I had “good seats” at a table smack in front of the stage. The show, however takes place all over the venue, so if you aren’t directly in front, try not to fret. You should, however fret if you are opposed to a lot of people packed into a tight space. They do, indeed, pack them in. There was an announcement that the space will be doubling, relatively soon, but they may just sell twice as many tickets. I don’t know.

There is a two item minimum purchase required, which doesn’t necessarily mean, “drink.” You can order food as well… yummy food. There’s a pretty extensive menu. When ordering food, it’s just another good reason to arrive early. Doing anything other than light munching during a show (and sipping cocktails go without saying!) is just weird.

As far as the actual show… it’s quite simply well done and a lot of fun. In the Baz show, there is a rotating cast of eight. They all have pipes, moves and the proper cabaret showmanship. There’s a live band playing. The cast members jump from the stage, to the aisles, to the top of the bar (fantastic job on the musical staging, Angela Pupello). In this case the performers belted tunes such as “Lady Marmalade,” “Young Hearts Run Free,” and “Love is in the Air.” The costumes are vibrant, sexy and perfect. The performers are exceptionally talented. The only thing I could complain about was the sound. This is admittedly a big deal but my issues were small. I found the sound to be inconsistent and out of balance at times. But overall, fair to good, really. I just wanted it to be great… it being a cabaret show, and all.

This is a pretty fabulous date night idea for the musical theatre lover, film junkie, or music enthusiast in your life. It isn’t inexpensive as tickets and food/drinks are to be purchased. There’s an automatic 18% tip added to the food/drink bill, as well. But every artist in Los Angeles owes it to themselves to attend at least one of these very special shows… rumor has it that Martin Scorsese, Paul Thomas Anderson, Cameron Crowe, and Tim Burton are the shows on the horizon. My hunch is you will want to go again and again. I do.

The creators, Shane Scheel and Christopher Lloyd Bratten, should be proud of this gem of a cabaret series.

On my particular night… The performers “Bohemians”: Michael Motroni (Zidler), Kristolyn Lloyd, Peter Porte (Christian), Darryl Semira (Romeo), Von Smith, Margaret M. Spirito, Anneliese Van Der Pol (Juliet), Jessica Keenan Wynn (Satine).

The Band “Children of the Revolution”: Christopher Lloyd Bratten (Keys/MD), Jonny Morrow (Bass), Kiel Feher (Drums), Nick Perez (Guitar).

Show at Barre
1714 N. Vermont Ave. Los Angeles, CA 90027
323-661-6137 (ext 20)
Tickets: $35.00… but, look! Discount tickets EVERYWHERE.
Wed-Sunday starting at 8:00 or 9:00, depending on the day.
Doors open 1 ½ hours earlier.
See website for all details: http://www.showatbarre.com/

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