Mark Storen’s A Drunken Cabaret
New York International Fringe Festival
reviewed by Peter Schuyler nytheatre.com
Aug 15, 2009
“I want to love you, cut you into pieces, take you to the zookeeper and turn you into animal food. Am I being rude?” Crude, blasphemous, sophomoric, and nowhere near politically correct, Mark Storen’s A Drunken Cabaret is a hilarious hour-long musing on the dark, violent side of love. Written, acted, and directed by Storen (a native of Perth, Australia), the show is less an examination of the why behind the madness, but more a celebration of it. It’s a very specific type of humor, and it wasn’t for everyone in the audience. I certainly enjoyed it. The songs (all original) are clever and pithy, and Storen infuses real fun and soul into the evening. It’s not everyday you encounter a man who can write a ballad about bestiality and actually make it touching. It’s not just the songs that entertain, there are poetry recitations, some very aggressive dance, and, in the quieter moments, some very disturbing poems by Robert Browning and John Donne. Storen is a gifted ringmaster and keeps the audience engaged throughout, encouraging sing-along and never missing a beat, even when a few patrons left the theatre. It was their loss. They missed the ballad.
He makes the reconfigured Flamboyan Theatre (which has been morphed into a cozy cabaret space) very much his own. A large paper heart serves as the backdrop and projection screen for the show, framing the action and adding depth to the piece. The lighting is very impressive, especially considering the FringeNYC’s quick turnover. Really the only thing missing to complete the atmosphere was someone serving drinks. It should be noted there is a bar in the lobby.
As I said before, this kind of humor isn’t for everyone, but it certainly was for me. If you enjoy ribald tales of love gone horribly, horribly wrong, then you should definitely head down to the Flamboyan, have a drink, and spend an hour with Mark.
Producer: The Moxy Collective
Author: Mark Storen