New Philly Troupe Focuses on Resident Cabaret Artists and New Hybrid Musicals, Launching May 7

News   New Philly Troupe Focuses on Resident Cabaret Artists and New Hybrid Musicals, Launching May 7 A new musical theatre initiative, Philadelphia Cabaret Theatre (PCT), has been formed in the City of Brotherly Love to create original musical productions and celebrate resident cabaret artists.

Founder and artistic director Doug Anderson told Playbill On-Line PCT launches May 7 with a cabaret series at Society Hill Playhouse and follows with an original musical production using the music of Frank Sinatra (but don't confuse it with My Way or Our Sinatra, which have played regionally, he said).

Singers Jeanette Bressler and Albert Fernandez kick off the cabaret series in May at The Red Room at Society Hill Playhouse, where PCT is in residence. Fernandez debuts his cabaret show May 7-8, with Jeanette Bressler playing the following weekend, May 14-15.

"My mission for the company is two-fold," founder Anderson said. "I have a plan to develop an ongoing presence for cabaret in Philadelphia. To make PCT a place where local singers — without the benefit of having a Broadway name — can work, without having to leave town. And I'd like Philadelphia to be regarded by cabaret artists all over the country as a city they can come to and play their shows."

The other half of Philadelphia Cabaret Theatre is dedicated to presenting original musical productions that are cabaret-theatre hybrids in the tradition of Forever Plaid.

Other projects for PCT include a New Composers Series and a book-in-hand Broadway Hits series. "I want cabaret and theatre to be happy bedfellows in my company," he said. Philadelphia Cabaret Theatre's first original production is Sinatra Sings, playing June 4-5 at 8 PM at Society Hill Playhouse, 507 S. 8th Street.

The "theatrical concert," as it is billed, is conceived, written and directed by Anderson. The two-man show is performed by singers Lou Lanza and Carmine Mandia.

The two-act concert does not focus on the seamier side of Sinatra's life, nor is it a multi-character revue, Anderson said.

"It's a very intimate musical portrait of his music and delineates how he became such an innovator and pioneer of the American popular song," Anderson explained. "It really gives an insight into Sinatra's life, more than previous revues, along with about 30 songs. We have already been scheduled for a political fundraiser the week after we open, and the theatre has hopes of extending."

Reservations for both Sinatra Sings ($20) and the cabaret series shows ($15), as well as directions to the theatre, can be made by calling the box office (215) 923 0210.

All shows are at 8 PM. More information about PCT can be found at www.philly-cabaret-theatre.com.

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