A dynamic trio will bring an evening of “sin and song” to Mid City Theatre, flirting with musical temptation in ways that will have the audience seeking penance.
“We’re doing an evening of songs inspired by the seven deadly sins. Any theme like that is just an excuse to sing crazy songs that you like,” said Jefferson Turner, pianist for “A Midsummer Night’s Cabaret: An Evening of Sin and Song.”
The show opens at 8 p.m. Friday, July 18, at the Mid City Theatre. The intimate performance will continue Friday, Saturday and Sunday evenings until Sunday, Aug. 10.
In their exploration of the seven deadly sins, Turner and friends Sean Patterson and Mandy Zirkenbach will combine their talents to take the audience on a journey that draws inspiration from intimate stories.
“We are going to be putting a lot of ourselves out there. We will be telling some stories that are quite humorous and personal,” said Mandy Zirkenbach, a performer.
The trio plays with songs that are familiar and new to the audience.
“We keep saying that there are three types of songs in a cabaret show: the obvious ones that the audience expects to hear, the unusual or obscure ones that they didn’t know but are going to fall in love with, and the well-known songs that are performed in a completely unexpected original way,” Turner said.
There are plenty of surprises throughout the show.
“We have a few little medleys that we have put together that are really fun. A juxtapose of some surprising song choices — songs that may never have been interpreted in this context,” said Sean Patterson, performer in A Midsummer Night’s Cabaret.“Songs that may not necessarily be about sin but you change the tempo and suddenly they are full of innuendo.”
Classics by Rodgers and Hammerstein, Kander and Ebb, Cole Porter, Stephen Sondheim, and Maury Yeston will be mixed with songs made famous by quirkier voices such as Meat Loaf, Leon Redbone, Shirley Bassey, and Kermit the Frog. Five original songs that the trio have composed.
“Jefferson has come up with some really fun arrangements,” Zirkenbach said. “Sean and I will be doing unexpected duets. We will be taking a couple of unexpected turns with some well-known songs.”
Cabaret seems to be the ideal outlet for the trio’s twist on the delectable joys of lust, greed and gluttony, and the more onerous sins of envy, wrath, pride and sloth.
“Cabaret is an umbrella that can cover so many types of shows, but ultimately it is about the connection between the performer and the audience. The audience and performers alike want to spend an evening with friends, having a good time,” Turner said.
The trio have been working together on and off for nearly 15 years in the New Orleans area. They often talked about doing a cabaret collaboration, bringing their common humor and distinctly different personalities together.
“We enjoy each other’s company and appreciate each other’s talent,” said Patterson. “Rehearsals have been really lively and fun. We hope that energy makes it to the stage and out into the house as well.”
With the talent and enthusiasm that Zirkenbach, Turner and Patterson bring to the show, the audience will be singing about their sins weeks later.
“There is no fourth wall — you are in it with the audience. There is a rush with putting yourself out there,” said Zirkenbach. “It is that immediate connection and that exchange of energy between you and the audience that is electrifying.”