If a visitor from another planet landed here and asked the question “What is Cabaret?” an easy explanation would be to send him/her to attend a performance by KT Sullivan and Jeff Harnar, weather it be solo or jointly. They didn’t invent the art form but KT and Jeff’s artistry and show construction ranks as one of the finest examples of Cabaret.
Their show celebrating Sheldon Harnick & Charles Strouse is an ingenious juxtaposing of the lyrics and music of these Broadway giants. As in Jeff & KT’s Sondheim collaboration the template is the same. The gender-bending makes you enjoy the familiar tunes in a new light. Jeff singing “One Boy” and KT “ If I Were A Rich Man” are an example. They don’t incorporate typical patter during the show, KT & Jeff speak to you with the lyrics and the unique weaving of the song list. Talking about juxtaposition, music director Jon Weber creates interesting and exciting new harmonies underneath well known melodies. Original major chords can become minor or diminished and it all works to give a fresh take to the music.
As in their Sondheim show, director Sondra Lee shaped the structure and staging of Harnick & Strouse performed by Sullivan & Harnar.