A Very Bloody Misfit Cabaret (photo: Patric Carver)
Kat Robichaud knows how to put on a good show. From the moment she welcomed her audience on stage in a ruffled, yellowing tuxedo shirt and grape-colored suit a la Beetlejuice to the last seconds of an on-stage dance party with the audience that she led while dripping with viscous red fluid in a prom dress and tiara, Robichaud captivated.
The musical numbers in A Very Bloody Misfit Cabaret started with a medley that showcased the range of the headliner and keyboardist Brendan Getzell. Robichaud danced through different genres — including everything vaguely Halloween from Michael Jackson’s “Thriller” to Rob Zombie’s “Dragula.” The highlight of this arrangement was Robichaud’s spot-on channeling of Dolores O’Riordan as she belted out the chorus to The Cranberries’ “Zombie” with all the guttural intensity and facial snarls of the original performance
The night only got stranger (and more wonderful) from there. Guest singer Carletta Sue Kay brought no disappointments. Her set startled wobbly with a faulty microphone that may or may not have been a purposeful part of the bit. She stood six feett tall with her wig awkwardly arranged. Most of the audience giggled as the performer — who seemed half Hallmark’s Maxine and half Kyle Chandler — tried to get her microphone to work. However, after Kay began to sing, the theatre went quiet. A powerful performer, Kay sang with her whole body — all cells aligned in producing monstrous and masterful sound.
Kay was not the only performer who left the audience speechless. Opera singer and performance artist Hilary Lobitz, performed like none I’d ever seen. Guided by a stilt walker dressed as a mechanical yet animalistic executioner like creatures from Pan’s Labyrinth, Lobitz was suspended by hooks in her back. Blood dripped down as she floated and spun. Her voice was strong and engaging. I closed my eyes to reassure myself that it wasn’t just the spectacle, but her voice, that was drawing me in. Even without the stunning visual, the performance was alluring.
One other notable performance during the show was Richie Lillard’s fantastic take on Dr. Frank N. Furter. Lillard was always on during the show, a font of witty remarks and sexual innuendo. He managed to even make the audience-participation costume contest enjoyable for all, which is no small feat.
Robichaud performed a new song at the close of the performance, “Bully,” that was as impassioned as any Broadway main number. Dressed as Stephen King’s Carrie from the infamous prom scene, Robichaud displayed all the vulnerability and vengeance of the original character. Sissy Spacek would have been proud — and impressed.
Photos by Patric Carver