Universalist Church West. As usual for the spring show, this was more of
a "cabaret" style performance, with the chorus mostly breaking up into
small ensembles. Unusually, all the music in the concert was the work of
one writer, Fred Small, who is a folk singer, painter, attorney, and
Unitarian Universalist minister. I had been very slightly familiar with
Small's work, knowing chiefly the delightfully funny yet pointed "Hot
Frogs on the Loose," which is a mainstay at local filksings, and had
heard "Cranes Over Hiroshima" before, but that was about it. I was
surprised by the scope of his subject matter and the variety of his
styles. Some are very funny, like "Talking Wheelchair Blues," and "Dig
a Hole"; some, like "Cranes," are very sad. They all have a
well-expressed and very distinct point to make, though.
The singers were all in very good voice and showed obvious enjoyment and
involvement with the music, all of which we appreciated very much.
The other unusual aspect of the concert was that it was a food function,
or "dinner theatre light" as they called it. The Chorus has been working
with a company called "Tastefully Simple" for fundraising, and the
ticket price included a sampling of products. The items on offer were
mostly things that could be made up from mixes by adding a few
ingredients; cookies, cake, brownies, dips and spreads, sauces. In
general, not serious meal food, but the type of thing it might be useful
to have on hand for an impromptu party or gathering. The items we
sampled were very good, and evidently as simple to prepare as
advertised, since Chorus Artistic Director Kristen Weber made up enough
for the audience for two performances by herself!
The Chorus has information on its next season out now and we are looking
forward to it.