Theatre and cabaret favorite, and film-maker, Angie Louise is a whirling dervish of the Seattle entertainment scene. Whether you recall her at the 5th Avenue as a wicked Fraulein Kost in Cabaret, or know her from her edgy Weimar-era inspired band The Love Markets, or from her years of solo and duet cabaret performances in the Puget Sound, Angie leaves an indelible mark. She no doubt will also leave such a mark in her performances as part of March is Cabaret Month 2016 at Egan’s Ballard Jam House, of which she is a creative consultant-associate producer.
Presented by Arnaldo! Drag Chanteuse, the Seattle festival debuted in 2008 at Julia’s On Broadway. In 2011, the Seattle festival expanded into its current venue at Egan’s Ballard Jam House, where, in 2015, it ran every weekend in March, and featured an exhilarating variety of West Coast performers. Sponsored by local arts patrons Brian Silkworth & Bill Colter, Seattle’s March Is Cabaret Month 2016 promises to build on last year’s success. The Festival is produced by the Pacific Northwest Cabaret Association (PNWCA), a coalition of performers and producers who seek to promote the cabaret performers and cabaret venues of the Pacific Northwest by cultivating an appreciation of cabaret and expanding its audience. PNWCA was founded in 2006 by Arnaldo!, who credits the inspiration to his 2005 attendance at The International Cabaret Workshop & Conference at Yale University, where he met then artistic director Erv Raible and came under Raible’s mentorship.
Arnaldo! was unexpectedly called out of town last week on a family emergency, but will return in time for much of the event. Happily, Angie Louise was here to fill us all in on what the artists and musical menu are, among other things!
David-Edward Hughes: How did you first go from performer to Associate Producer on this annual event?
Angie Louise: I became involved in MICM when Arnaldo! asked me and Marcus Wolland to host and run a previous year’s festival, as he was going to be in the Philippines. Since then, the festival has doubled in size, and I’ve worked with Arnaldo as a creative consultant and associate producer to help direct that growth. The idea has been to professionalize the event with a juried application process and carefully curated programming, and to foster community networking by pairing different performers nightly and offering a discount double feature that lets audiences see up to four acts per night. It’s worked very well, and it’s fun to see performers inspiring each other and sharing audiences.
DEH: What does Miss Angie the performer have in store for us this year?
AL: I’m doing a show in the festival on March 18th and 19th called Appetite For Excess, with the funny and formidable Miz LaWanda DuPree. Expect a night of voracious blues and funk sung by loose women with strong opinions and no regrets (and a smoking hot band!). I’ll be including some of my original tunes as well as teaming up with LaWanda on some new duets we can’t wait to unleash. And on March 4 (opening night), I’ll be performing a singer-songwriter set from behind the piano–my own songs about barflies, drifters, dreamers, lovers and losers–as well as serving as host for the night. I’m looking forward to it, as this year’s opening night features a particularly strong lineup of stellar acts.
DEH: Seattle’s cabaret scene really has relied on this celebration to showcase cabaret artists of all era’s as venues have gone from few to next to none. Care to elaborate on your feelings about that?
AL: Egan’s has really stepped in over the past few years to fill the gaping hole left by the departure of classic Seattle cabaret venues like Thumper’s Oak Room and the Cabaret de Paris. Although we have some wonderful and atmospheric small venues curating a blend of cabaret, live music, theatre and burlesque (such as Rendezvous and Can Can), Egan’s is one of the very few small venues left who provides a setting for traditional cabaret performance, including a baby grand, a sound system, and a sound technician, all at no cost to the performer. This festival wouldn’t be possible without places like Egan’s, and in today’s Seattle there aren’t many left.
I’ve attended performances at every one of these yearly festivals of frolic, and urge the lovers of both the Great American songbook and Jazz (and everything in between) to take in as many performers as you can. March is Cabaret Month 2016 at Egan’s Ballard Jam House, 1707 NW Market St, runs Fridays and Saturdays from March 4-March 26, with 7 and 9 pm shows. Visit marchiscabaretmonthseattle.com or full info on performers, show themes, show-times and links .