Cabaret shows coming to the Classic Wineseller
What is a cabaret? “Life,” some might say. You can find out firsthand at the Classic Wineseller in May and June when it presents two cabaret shows. Wendy L. Jones performs Saturday, May 17, and James Hammel appears Saturday, June 21, at 20 Church St. in Waynesville. Jones and Hammel are both members of the prestigious Manhattan Association of Cabarets and Clubs.
At 7 p.m. May 17, Jones will reprise her cabaret show, “Love, Lies, and Liasons,” which takes the listener on a journey through the highs and lows of love — searching for love, being in love and falling out of love. Through witty banter and swinging songs, audience members will laugh and cry as each relates to the crazy journey that has been Jones’ thus far. Pianist Steve Davidowski, bassist Zack Page and drummer Rick Dilling join her.
At 7 p.m. Saturday, June 21, singer-songwriter James Hammel will perform his show, “Celebrating a Collage of Life: a Journey Through Some of Life’s More Poignant Moments,” with pianist Dr. Bill Bares, saxophonist Patrick Brown, bassist Zack Page and drummer Rick Dilling.
Kay Miller, co-owner of the Classic Wineseller, says the idea of offering cabaret has been on her mind for a while.
“I’m always looking at how we can bring something new to the Wineseller” said Miller. “So I began researching and found what most people already know — that cabaret had its start in 19th-century Paris at Le Chat Noir. What I didn’t know was that the word and descriptions of cabaret are derived from a French word meaning wine cellar. It doesn’t get much better than that — we’re a wine seller and we’re in a cellar.”
Over time, European cabaret evolved into a number of forms, including comedy, burlesque and sociopolitical satire.
“In America, cabaret was performed in speakeasies and other intimate nightclub venues where it became a much more jazz-infused style of performance,” said Miller.
Today, cabaret is its own, identifiable art form, distinctive from musical theatre, nightclub singing, or a concert.
“The essential elements of cabaret are really simple: a performer in a small room with an audience at close range, seated around cozy tables, with the performer mere feet from the audience. The Classic Wineseller offers the same setting. It’s underground, it’s cozy, and you really could reach out and touch the performers — though it’s not advised,” said Miller.
Tickets are $34.99 per person per cabaret show and include pre-show music and a four-course dinner. Call 452-6000 for reservations; seating is limited.
The Classic Wineseller, Waynesville’s premier retail wine and craft beer shop, small plate restaurant, and intimate live music venue presents local, regional, or national talent each week. Beginning May 21, the Classic Wineseller will be extending its restaurant hours and days. The kitchen will be opening at 4 p.m. Wednesday through Saturday and the retail shop will be open 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday. For more information visit www.classicwineseller.com.