Hi, everyone. It’s me, Mistress Ginger, cabaret diva and cookbook author based in the Twin Cities. I want to inspire one and all to live the life of their dreams, and my next big performance project, Broadway, Circa 1986, aims to do just that — with a delicious mix of song, dance, and storytelling. By way of 1980s Broadway show tunes, I’m illuminating my journey as a queer person and taking audiences on a glittering thrill ride filled with heart.
This show was first presented in 2015, and this fundraising campaign supports production expenses involved with an extensive reworking of the show, which will premiere at the Bryant-Lake Bowl Theater in Minneapolis, June 6–8, 2019, during the month of Pride. The new version is designed to accommodate touring, which is something we'd like to do eventually, possibly to a theater near you!
The funds raised here will primarily go to pay the artists involved. These creative collaborators include David Hanzal, director; Nancy Pohl, costumer; Heidi Eckwall, lighting designer; Kevin Obsatz, filmmaker; Tamara Ober, videographer; and George Maurer, musician. Other expenses include promotional materials, and the Kickstarter goal amount covers the cost of rewards, the Kickstarter fee, and payment processing charges.
Read on for more specifics about what’s going into this production. Becoming a backer, you can help make all this possible, helping to uplift the world through the art of cabaret and also helping to support working artists. We thank you!
I’m teaming up with theatre director David Hanzal to refocus the show’s narrative arc, emphasizing the theme of being queer in a sometimes not-so-queer-friendly world. It’s essentially my journey through gender and sexuality, as told through a razzle-dazzle 1980s Broadway revue. While the show tends toward comedy and camp, there are darker moments that reference bullying, shame, and uncertainty. Yet by the end of the evening, through my indomitable joie de vivre, we’re all uplifted and feeling the light, journeying together to a place of acceptance, love, and liberation. I promise!
The original version of this show included live piano accompaniment, but recorded backing tracks will be used for the new version to make the show more tour-friendly. Also, the recorded tracks provide an opportunity for special sound effects and orchestrations that are more suitable to the "go-big-or-go-home" Broadway aesthetic. Two of the tracks that require special arrangements are being created by musician George Maurer.
The original version of the show was presented in two acts including intermission, which provided an opportunity for me to have a costume change. Now that we’re making the show tighter and more fast-paced, a short film will replace the intermission, keeping the audience engaged and delighted while giving me a chance to put on my roller skates (seriously!). Filmmaker Kevin Obsatz will shoot the film, utilizing screenplay and direction by David Hanzal.
In recreating the show, director David Hanzal and I share a vision of heightening the fantasy with glittery enhancements to costumes, props, set pieces, and choreography. Designer Nancy Pohl is creating a few new costume pieces and will add a bit more pizzazz to what was already there. Additionally, my dance sequences will be further developed, allowing me to be in full-on showgirl mode as the sweet lord intended. A lighting designer will work in collaboration with the director to show off all these visual elements to the best effect.
Thank you for taking the time to learn more about our work. We are very excited about bringing this project to life, and we would love your support in making that happen. When you become a backer, you really become a part of the team, helping to create transformative art that brings joy, engenders understanding, and uplifts one and all. We would love to have you on board! XO, MG
Risks and challenges
This revamp of "Broadway, Circa 1986" is a more elaborate production than I’ve tackled in a few years. More recently, I’ve been focused on music, but here we expand the playing field to include more dance, theater, and glittery gimmicks. The challenge to me is providing the necessary attention to all the parts and pieces while still ensuring a depth of focus on the performance itself and the quality of the storytelling through song. It’s a great challenge, and one that I’m up for. I also think it’s a worthwhile endeavor, expanding the scope of the show in this way to reach a bigger audience with a more impactful production.
Another exciting challenge of note is that this show will be the first one-person show I've done since "Spell No. 2" in 2011. I'll be the only performer on stage as the musical accompaniment will all be prerecorded (see above). With this approach, the show becomes more tour-friendly, and yet I know I will miss the partnership of working with musicians on stage. It increases focus on other dimensions of the performance, and I will be challenged to keep afloat the quality of the singing so that it continues to feel spontaneous and nuanced. Good challenges!
One of the things that make this great effort worth it to me is the idea that we’ll do the show again and again, eventually taking it on tour to other communities. Yes, we’ve got three performances booked for June 2019 in the heart of Minneapolis, but I hope that we can take it on the road to smaller, more conservative towns with LGBTQ communities who could benefit hugely from experiencing a show such as this. In that way, one risk for me is that those opportunities for touring wouldn’t come. But I am hopeful that there will be interest, and once the show is up and running I can turn my focus to that new venture — taking it out into the world where it's needed most.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
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