Gregory G. H. Rihn (milwaukeesfs) wrote,
Gregory G. H. Rihn

Cream City Chorus, “True Stories” 06-19-04

Saturday evening the 19th we went to the Village Church for a Cabaret Concert by the Cream City Chorus. The chorus made bold and effective use of the smallish space by arranging seating on three sides, and by singing from all parts of the room, including the “back” and off-stage entirely. The theme of this concert was “True Stories”, meaning that the pieces were based on fact, historical, biographical, or personal.

The concert was opened with a rousing production of “All That Jazz,” from Chicago, followed by the evening’s storyteller, Megan Schaffer, performing her own composition, “Dance of the Crone.” This was followed by the full chorus doing a spectacular arrangement of “Mytelene’s Reprieve,” a song by folk artist Zeke Hoskins, telling the story of how the men of the Greek island of Mytelene were first condemned, and then forgiven, for daring to oppose their Athenian overlords in going to war with Sparta. Karen Weber of the chorus did a great job of arranging this affecting song for the group, and this piece was one of the highlights of the show. The chorus generally did an excellent job of “selling” their songs and performed with good energy, and some impressive choreography. Other particular high spots included “The Fifties Sound,” an ironic commentary on that supposedly idyllic time, “Hot Time in the Old Town Tonight,” “Join the Circus,” “The Ballad of Mary Magdalene,” “The Egg, (from “1776”), “Big Hair,” and the Spaceflight Medley, combining filksongs by Leslie Fish, Jordan Kare, and Ann Passavoy. A clever running gag involved the character, played by Peter Ringo, who unsuccessfully tries to work his traditional tall-tale folksongs into the concert’s “true story” format.

The Chorus’ next performance will be October 16, 2004, with a theme of “Autumn in New York.”
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