A cultural and fashion renaissance awaits you.
So predict Isaac mizrahi, the fashion designer, performer, judge and author of “Project Runway” (if ever a multihyphenate ever existed, it’s him), every time the coronavirus stops and our new normal begins.
The rebirth will not affect everyone, however.
“I can’t really say what’s going to happen exactly. I think two things are going to happen,” he said.
“I think there are people who just aren’t going to leave their homes, they’re like No, I’m done. I figured out how to do everything remotely and I really like it. And then there are other people who are really just waiting to get back to it and who I think are going to rush to the opposite extreme. The extremes are always present, but I think after that you will see more extremes. “
A series of cabarets that Mizrahi has orchestrated as the first shows to hit Manhattan’s Cafe Carlyle scene since March 2020, bridge the gap between the present and the future.
Each of the programs is broadcast on BroadwayWorld.comthe pay-per-view streaming platform for a month and has a special guest. The last one, starring Lea DeLaria, debuted on February 12 and is available to stream until March 12.
The first two shows in his series featured Suzanne Vega and Jackie Hoffman.
“The only thing I kept coming back to when we were planning was like ‘Well that’s the long term we’re looking at’. Were going to be in this state (for a long time), ”Mizrahi said.
“We thought how much there will be a need for that kind of entertainment; someone is toned to find a way to do something that makes sense, and not just the virtual.”
This is not a slam on virtual programming, in which Mizrahi participated, but a reminder of the magic created when it is possible to be in the same room as his collaborators and an audience, and the hope that one part could be captured in COVID-19 times.
“There’s nothing like the energy of an audience that you get and give back. It’s that crazy kind of interchange and it builds up, and you get funnier because they laugh with it. you, “he said.
Enter the cabaret series. As they toured without an audience, podding, quarantine, and frequent testing allowed his six-piece band, crew and performers to be together at Cafe Carlyle.
Mizrahi says the nature of the cabaret in relation to a greater production or concert experience lends itself well to streaming.
“The expectations are more intimate, which is a great thing for the video. The architecture of the video really fits the kind of culture of the culture of this club,” he said.
His shows feature songs and jokes, as well as behind-the-scenes moments and rehearsal videos that are cut to provide a unique take on the entire process.
Mizrahi fully embraces and plays on the awkwardness of performing in front of an audience without an audience.
“As I walked in I thought about what was going to happen when I told jokes. But then I remembered my rehearsals are so fun, it’s so funny and the boys really respond so much to what’s being said, and it’s an audience of sorts. It’s gratifying. You’d be surprised. I don’t feel like I’m denying that there are less people laughing. “
Mizrahi says his shows intentionally follow a news line and a landscape filled with songs and jokes.
“The dramaturgy of the show was the most important thing in the story,” he said.
After recording the cabaret series, Mizrahi received an email from musician BenWaltzer which simply said: “Work is life. Thank you”.
And at this time, works like Mizrahi’s cabaret series that safely push the boundaries between live, video and live were the lifeblood of the entertainment industry.
Eventually, live performances will be back, Mizrahi says, and he can’t wait.
“There’s kind of a life and death threat to it. It’s like God forbid you to go out on this stage and no one laughs at what you say or like what you did. C ‘is possible, ”he said.
“It never happened where I bombed so fiercely and got booed off the stage. I had bad shows, but it was never a disaster. But disaster can. happen, and that’s why we love live theater. There is a built-in terror, and the payoff is the ecstasy of making it happen in that play or that theater. The terror in advance makes the reward so wonderful, and you get addicted to it. “
Ilana Keller is an award-winning journalist and longtime New Jersey resident who loves Broadway and really bad puns. She highlights arts advocacy and education, theater fundraising and more in her column, “Sightlines.” Contact us on Twitter: @ilanakeller; [email protected]
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