Heather Frank: Love in the Time of Coloring

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Heather Frank

Love in the Time of Coloring

Maggie’s Cabaret, Washington, DC, June 15, 2018

Reviewed by Michael Miyazaki for Cabaret Scenes

Heather Frank

In her smile-inducing show Love in the Time of Coloring, Heather Frank provides idiosyncratic commentary on the challenges and rewards of looking for love in our current age. She “modernizes” the cabaret space by adding a PowerPoint slide deck to the proceedings, with a series of memes that often provide witty counterpoint to her patter and songs.

Observing the difficulty of breaking up with someone, and all the person’s social network, she presents Goldrich/Heisler’s “Dear Happy” about a woman’s message to her ex’s dog. She reflects on struggles for love in the world around us with “NaCl” that describes the courtship process of sodium and chlorine as they connect to form salt.

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A riff on corporations funding IVF technology to retain female employees led to “I’m Putting All My Eggs in One Basket.”

Frank, who says that her “blonde, bossy, relentlessly cheerful presence” earned her the nickname Smurfette among former co-workers, is a genial presence. She had solid vocals with solid piano support from Jeff Hamlin, who charmed us singing “Lower Your Expectations (If You Want Love).

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” The show is well constructed and her set-ups rarely telegraph the forthcoming song. For example, a meditation on using drone technology to find love leads to “Skylark.” Her set list was pleasantly diverse featuring standards, country music, folk songs, and even a madrigal. These elements all added up to a charming, entertaining, and thought-provoking experience.

Michael Miyazaki

Michael Miyazaki is a Washington DC/Baltimore area-based performer, director, and writer. He has performed at various venues in the DC area, and his most recent show is Thanks for the Memories: The Musical Legacy of Bob Hope. He has appeared with numerous local theater troupes including Scena Theatre, the Source Theatre, and Fraudulent Productions. He has attended the Perry-Mansfield Cabaret Workshop (working with master teachers Andrea Marcovicci, Karen Mason, Barry Kleinbort, Christopher Denny, Shelly Markham, and David Gaines), and has also studied under Sally Mayes, Tex Arnold, Lina Koutrakos, Rick Jensen, Amanda McBroom, and Alex Rybeck. He is the creator of the blog The Miyazaki Cabaret Update: DC & Beyond (currently on hiatus) and is a member of the DC Cabaret Network and the Arts Club of Washington.