Julian Hornik: Queer Lit Club

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Julian Hornik

Queer Lit Club

The Duplex, NYC, April 4, 2018

Reviewed by Chris Struck for Cabaret Scenes

Julian Hornik

Julian Hornik’s first foray into the cabaret world impressed as he articulated his journey to the beginnings of a musical theater career. Joined by old and new friends, he showcased material inspired by some of the past century’s most prominent gay writers, predominantly featuring the class act, Tennessee Williams, and Hornik’s original musical, Ten.

Hornik’s compositions generally featured long verses that focused on overcoming inner obstacles. This was achieved through a myriad of ways depending on the underlying characters, but it made for engaging lyrics that dropped in more than a few memorable lines, such as “A body’s just a body when it’s lying in your bed.” At times these were almost sarcastically funny or quietly sinister, but a lot of that seemed to depend on the interpretation of the singer and context of the musical it would be a part of.

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Without that added dynamic, there didn’t seem to always be a clear link stringing the songs and characters together, at least within Ten.

Adding that extra edge to a small handful of Hornik’s songs were longtime theater friends, Christian Probst and Sarah Chapin. While Hornik vocally executed material very well, I felt that Probst and Chapin’s clear and clean vocalizations brought out more of the implicit depth within Hornik’s work. Chapin’s especially emotional performance of “Grounded” as Rose, Tennessee’s sister, as she cried out, “It’s not that I don’t recognize the girl inside the mirror!,” demonstrated some of the potential impact of Hornik’s work. These three are certainly worth paying attention to, and Hornik’s certainly off to a good start in New York carving out a reputation as a good, easygoing person to work with.

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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 StruckChris.com