Lizzie Violet’s Cabaret Noir marked it’s second year as one of TO’s most eclectic evenings out with a diverse set of dynamic features playing to a packed house. The show started with a flurry of open stagers: Brenda Clews flashed us; Cate McKim let us feel her love; Shawn Nolan (new to Noir) shared his dirty business; TOpoet.ca swore up a storm.
First feature was Komi Olaf (http://komiolaf.com/about/) – another Nigerian (Nnedi Okorafor at the Colloquium http://wp.me/p1RtxU-173 was also Nigerian) writer. His pieces popped with alliteration & rhyme: ‘busy buzzing beneath the hive,’ ‘masters masquerading,’ ‘countless dictators trying to dictate the vote count.’ Some pieces were rich in the colors of the jungle, others with sweet romanticism ‘our love rises before the dawn.’ Political without being didactic, romantic without being overly-sweet his set was nicely paced and by the end we knew ‘the language of creation may not be in English.’
After a brief break David Roche hit the stage with a classic cabaret turn – classic in the Noel Coward sense of classic. His urbane patter, classic show tunes and seemingly effortless singing brought the classic into the a new decade. His relaxed performance allowed the songs to shine, letting the words speak directly to us.
Door prizes were given to celebrate the 2nd anniversary of the show, the Central donated champagne that was eagerly downed by most of the packed house. Final feature was the artist currently known as Allen Rex (http://www.allenrex.com). He is bubbly enough without the bubbly though. He did a propulsive, plaintive setoff original work starting with ‘I wish I were a lesbian’ so he could be spared so much worry about the latest trends as a non-white gay guy (I hate to break it to him but lesbians have the same issues). His energy was infectious, his songs were personal, perceive and funny. They have great hooks that are ripe for expansionist a bigger sound to really rock out. It’s time for a queer Fall Out Boy. Buy his new single ‘Waste of Time’ on iTunes.
Photos of the event here: Noir at 2
Besides Nuncle John (http://wp.me/p1RtxU-Qe ) I read one of the pieces I read at the first Cabaret Noir:
The Bridge of Sighs
I met the Buddha
crossing the bridge of sighs
there wasn’t enough room
for each of us to get by
‘life is suffering
let me pass by’
I said ‘as you wish
but let me remind you
life is an illusion
so is this bridge’
the bridge disappeared
the Buddha was on his back
in the cold cold water
I stood dry on his stomach
and was careful
not to step on his face
as I made my way
to the other side
June 3/4/5 – Washington DC
(2016 registration posted but details not posted yet. )
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2 thoughts on “‘the language of creation’”
Reblogged this on and commented:
An amazing review from topoet.ca!
Reblogged this on life with more cowbell and commented:
Happy 2nd anniversary to Lizzie Violet’s Cabaret Noir! With thanks to topoet.ca (aka Duncan Armstrong) for this post on the evening’s fabulous festivities (and for the party crackers and masks).