All the Feels: An Uplifting Cabaret

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All the Feels: An Uplifting Cabaret

3 Stars, Washington, D.C., July 24, 2022

Reviewed by Michael Myazaki

Preston Grover, Karen Lange, Zack Ford, Katie Wicklund,
Eli Wassertzug, Tori Gomez, and Nichole Chimere-Morgan
Photo by Ryan Maxwell Photography

The covid pandemic has been an emotionally difficult time for us all, evoking feelings of fear, isolation, and despair. In All the Feels: An Uplifting Cabaret at 3 Stars, Pinky Swear Productions explored these emotions as people are rejoining society.

Creator Karen Lange started the show by setting the scene as a gathering of friends who have been previously isolating. As guests Nichole Chimere, Rebecca Speas, and Preson Grover arrive, they joined Lange on “Hear My Song,” with the theme-setting lyric, “listen to my song that I sing, and trust me, we’ll be fine.” Additional guests Katie Wicklund and Eli Wassertzug entered performing a competitive version of “Life of the Party.” Grover described a spiritual quest with Queen’s “Somebody to Love.” The company offered a tongue-in-cheek “That Way” followed by Speas’ “In the Air Tonight.” Lange comforted a guest who was despairing of the world with Brandi Carlisle’s “The Joke.” Chimere offered a view of the world with a searing version of Gnarls Barclay’s “Crazy.” Wassertzug expressed his determination with Katy Perry’s “Fingerprints.” In the end, the assembled offered a positive outlook with Dolly Parton’s “Light of a Clear Blue Morning” expressing the sentiment “everything’s gonna be alright; everything’s gonna be OK.”

Pianist Zack Brown provided deft music direction, sensitively unifying a variety of performers and song styles. The show was directed by Natália Gleason-Nagy

The show was a forceful expression of urban Millennial/Gen Z sentiment in the current moment. It expressed themes of disillusionment, generational priorities and joys, the importance of friendship, and transgender rights.
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The song line-up gave a hint to what songs may be emerging as the next entries in the Great American Songbook (if they aren’t already).

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.