Shopping Cart of Love
part of the Canwest Cabaret Festival
October 31 - Young Centre
It may have been Hallowe'en, but the dressing up I saw yesterday afternoon had more to do with the glitz and glamour of the stage than any celebration of All Soul's Day. Business was brisk at the Young Centre, a great little venue in the Distillery District that was set up into five separate and intimate cabaret clubs for the Canwest Cabaret Festival. There were four shows going at once in the afternoon as I dropped in, in a mad flurry of the performing arts that, I think, underscores the public's obvious hunger for song and dance. The line up was long for the Brent Carver offering, and not a seat was left in the house for the Shopping Cart of Love, the Patti Loach/Patricia Zentilli show I got to myself, (along with Nancy White, who was sitting at the table in front of me!) The photo is by Tracey Nolan.
Classic black staging splashed with coloured lights complemented the duo of talented blondes as they took a receptive audience through an hour long journey in the life of a modern woman, more or less, using show tunes, theatrical bits and banter. Some of it was autobiographical and some just whimsical, a thread that connected tunes on topics as diverse as babysitters and zoology. All of it was held together by the engaging characters of the ladies. Her hands deftly occupied with providing the sparkling musical accompaniment, Loach was the more sophisticated older woman to Patricia's often sweet and vulnerable stage presence, both her spoken and sung lines showing an impressive range of hitting emotional notes along with a nice comedic touch.
The Young Centre seems the ideal venue for the Festival, with artists checking in and mingling with the crowds in the lobby, the sprinkling of sequins and instrument cases contributing to the atmosphere. There was beverage service both in the lobby and during the show, at prices you could actually afford.
Life may not be a cabaret, but wittty, musical, and with beverage service, it really should be.