by Becca Jennings
FST has kicked off its 23rd Winter Cabaret Season with two hit shows highlighting big artists who had an even bigger impact.
Bobby Darin was known for exciting his audiences with larger-than-life performances as he bounded flawlessly through musical genres and styles much like a chameleon on stage. Mike Backes and Dan Faber play two die-hard Darin fans in our Cabaret opener, Mack the Knife: The Bobby Darin Songbook in FST’s Court Cabaret. To play the part, they’ve had to learn first-hand how challenging it can be to move quickly from one musical genre to the next in this 90-minute show highlighting one of the most artistically versatile artists of his time.
“Darin’s music is so diverse,” said Faber. “The show flows so smoothly, and goes through his wild career so succinctly that it’s over before I know it! We’ve done over 100 shows and it feels like we’ve done half that.”
Just across the street, there’s a whole lot of shakin’ going on in FST’s Goldstein Cabaret. A cast of multi-instrumentalists are celebrating the birth of rock & roll this winter with hits such as “Mustang Sally,” and “Johnny B. Goode” in Blue Suede Shoes.
Lead guitarist Gabriel Aronson is new to FST, but is no stranger to rock. Based in L.A., Aronson wields not just the guitar, but also plays bass, drums…and he can sing!
“The run’s been great so far!” said Aronson. “This show is unlike anything I’ve seen, with multiple multi-instrumentalists playing songs that mean so much to people. That’s rock & roll to me.”
FST veteran Jannie Jones belts out lead vocals in this rockin’ revue. “What excites me most is that the music is so much fun—especially when our audiences chime in and sing and dance with us!” said Jones. “I think the Cabaret spaces work so well because they’re intimate, with even some audience members close enough to touch. We are able to make direct eye contact and they can feel our jubilant energy.”
Known for her powerhouse vocals and commanding stage presence, audiences may remember Jannie from such cabaret shows as: Gypsies, Tramps and Thieves, Piano Men, and By Gershwin, to name a few. This is her 14th appearance with FST.
Critics are calling Blue Suede Shoes “Dynamic,” “Sizzling,” and “Rousing.” Audience member Renee Rosen called it “a real trip down memory lane.”