The Cabaret: Robin Virginie, Patrick Burns, Grace Allyn, Laura Austin, Matthew Elliott

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The Cabaret

Robin Virginie, Patrick Burns, Grace Allyn,
Laura Austin, and Matthew Elliott

The Duplex, NYC, November 28, 2017

Reviewed by Chris Struck for Cabaret Scenes

Robin Virginie and Patrick Burns have brought together a terrific group of warm-hearted actors. It was clear from the start that they enjoyed each other’s company so much so that Burns started us off by groaning, “I wanted to do a show with those friends, but they didn’t show up.” The other four took equal turns responding to Burns, who pulled double duty on the piano, with witticisms like “Aren’t we singing at The Duplex now?

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” as the group parodied “Another Suitcase in Another Hall” (Evita, by Tim Rice and Andrew Lloyd Webber).

From there, things really took off. As the cast performed a majority of solo Broadway show tunes, they showcased their abilities to portray a variety of emotions. For example, in “For Good” (Wicked by Stephen Schwartz) Laura Austin and Grace Allyn seemed to draw heavily on their past history as mother and daughter, respectively, to harmonize on, “I know I’ve been changed for the better.” Elliott and Virginie (particularly Elliott) were strong together as well on “Make Me Happy” from 35MM, but I’m not really sure why they introduced it as a supposed improv song.

Burns’ performance of “Fight the Dragons” from Big Fish also stood out. He made me want to raise my standard for loving someone to fending off fire-breathing monsters. The best performance, however, was by Virginie of Michael Bruce’s “Portrait of a Princess.” She put so much wonderful emphasis on the frustrations of Snow White and the joys of hoping for love “in a Disney way” that I was easily impressed. A close second was likely Elliott’s “Michael in the Bathroom” (Be More Chill by Joe Iconis). He simply had anxious teenager down.

Slightly cooler than Elliott’s performance and much cooler than standing in a bathroom alone at a party was Allyn’s original “Butterfly.” I felt like it really captured the intended sentiments of connecting with the depressed very well.

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Her beautiful voice certainly helped the performance, but her lyrics were awesome, such as “Butterfly, tell me why I’m standing next to you and you feel alone.”

What a great time and a good way to keep a cast together beyond one show! Hope their future projects go well, and they bring some of that back to The Duplex!

Chris Struck

Chris Struck's debut novel, Kennig and Gold, is due to be officially published in June 2019. He's written reviews for Cabaret Scenes since August of 2017. For more information about the writer, see