Treat your valentine to some ‘Heart and Music’

Studio Cabaret Series: Heart and Music

Theatre Cedar Rapids — Opens Friday, Feb. 12 at 7:30 p.m.

Theatre Cedar Rapids Studio Cabaret Series
Bryan Mullen hams it up while Forrest Green accompanies, in a rehearsal for ‘Heart and Music.’ Photo by Jaymie McGrath
The Studio Cabaret Series, which kicked off at Theatre Cedar Rapids last September, is back with a new installment titled Heart and Music.

Led by director Lynne Rothrock (who stretches her own performance muscles next weekend, performing the music of Linda Ronstadt at the Opus Concert Café in Cedar Rapids), the series is a direct offshoot of Rothrock’s popular Cabaret and Cabernet class offered regularly at the theatre. It will give fans of cabaret another opportunity to introduce it to the public.

In her note on the TCR website, Rothrock points out that people often associate cabaret with the musical Cabaret, or think “that it implies fishnet stockings and scantily clad women, or that it is a musical revue of show tunes.” However, “[t]he actual experience of ‘cabaret’ as a genre,” she says, “is much simpler and also much broader than any of these definitions.”

The deliberate and intimate storytelling involved in cabaret spans a wide variety of musical styles. The genre got its start in 19th century Parisian wine cellars and traveled to the U.S. in the form of smokey speakeasies. That closeness is key: whether hilarious, heartbreaking or both, what a cabaret performance most needs, Rothrock says, is an audience “willing to participate into a direct, emotional conversation with the singer.”

This is a perfect form for a Valentine’s Day weekend show. Treat your sweetie to Heart and Music, Feb. 12 or 13 at 7:30 p.m. or Feb. 14 at 2:30 p.m. As an optional $10 add-on, TCR is offering drink and dessert pairing options after each show. On offer will be Gen 5 Cabernet Sauvignon paired with a specialty brownie infused with Cedar Ridge port wine; La Playa Merlot, Famaey Malbec and Cedar Ridge 5 Seasons paired with gourmet chocolates; La Playa Sauvignon Blanc paired with a sugar cookie topped with plum and apricot jam; and Carletto Pinot Grigio paired with a dried fruit medley with a fluffed lime frosting dip. The evening’s performers include Kaitlin Oswood, Jaymie McGrath, Kara Ramirez, Bryan Mullen, Meg Norris and Becca Hauschild. Forrest Green is the show’s accompanist.

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