Arts and Entertainment

Fly to the moon with this year's cabaret

The cast of “Enchanted Forest Cabaret … Fly Me To The Moon.
The cast of “Enchanted Forest Cabaret … Fly Me To The Moon.'
— image credit: Contributed photo

The earth is destroyed. People move to the moon, but it is crawling with zombie children. A girl seduces Santa, only to find he is a dark underworld lord. Renditions of Bowie’s “Space Oddity” and the Beastie Boys’ “Intergalactic” are performed with passion.

These are just a few scenarios from the upcoming show “Enchanted Forest Cabaret … Fly Me To The Moon,” Thursday through Saturday, Oct. 11-13 and 18-20 at 7:30 p.m. on the OffCenter stage at Orcas Center.

“The cast and I had a really great time getting ready to raise the curtain for anyone who shows up,” said creator and director Deborah Sparks.

The show is the continuing story of the characters from the Enchanted Forest production that sold out last year. It follows characters boarding a rocket ship for the moon in a Steampunk inspired sci-fi adventure starring Jake Perrine, Grace McCune and Khadoma Colomby. Characters include Major Tom, Zorg, The Butler, The Chef, the Steampunk Dancers, Manbot and the Zombie Kids.

“Its great to get to creep into Deborah Sparks’ mind,” McCune said. “The show is like living in her subconscious, it’s amazing.”

McCune added that the show is very much Sparks’ brainchild, but it feels like everyone is collaborating. The creative fusion comes from Sparks being open to creative input, said Perrine.

And in staying true to the origins of cabaret, Perrine said the whole production is about the assemblage of talents and imaginations that show up.

“I love working with people who understand and demonstrate that their part on stage is as an artist and what they show up with is part of the grand collaboration,” Sparks said.

According to  “A History of Cabaret” by John Kenrick, the word cabaret initially referred to any business serving liquor, but the culture started to flourish in Paris in 1881, where poets, artists and composers gathered in an informal saloon to share ideas and compositions and audiences enjoyed performances for a small price.

On Orcas, entertaining the community still stands as a priority.

“Last year the audience kept thanking us for bringing something so fun and lighthearted to the stage, especially during these hard times in our country’s history,” McCune said. “It’s refreshing to forget about life for a little while.”

And performers get something out of the deal as well.

McCune said it’s great to get on stage and have an opportunity to laugh at yourself and let go.

“We get so wrapped up in our heads about how to present ourselves,” she said. “When we can let go of that identity it can be fun and the audience responds to that.”

For Sparks the show is about shedding seriousness.

“It’s all about having those who can flow with the vision and take risks,” she said. “It’s very exciting and I laugh a lot, which is the point, for me, of doing this production.”

But there is also incredible beauty interwoven into hilarity with songs like “I dreamed a dream” from Les Miserables. But even that heartbreaking melody is infused with a new light.

And it’s not just humans who bring the show to life. Sparks said her creative dream team of Chris Brems, Dean Carey, Marcia Gillingham and Annie Sparks-Dempster can make anything, including elaborate and eye-catching sets and costumes.

Perrine also adds his hand, not only as a performer, but behind the scene creating sound effects, song arrangements and coordinating visual projections that will augment the show. But he said all that is not meant to stand in as the main event, but rather to enhance the mood and vibes that Sparks has set out to create.

“In this day and age people are so used to looking at a screen, but for theatre it’s deadly to compete with movies or TV,” he said. “Theater is a place to do things you can do nowhere else.”

Tickets for the show

Tickets for Enchanted Forest are $15 for adults, $11 for students ($2 off for Orcas Center members) and may be purchased at www.orcascenter.org, by calling 376-2281 ext. 1 or visiting the Orcas Center Box Office.

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