Frank Olivier's Twisted Cabaret and Pandemonium Vaudeville Show
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The last date listed for Frank Olivier's Twisted Cabaret and Pandemonium Vaudeville Show was Sunday February 24, 2008 / 2:00pm.
Currently at Julia Morgan Theater
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Let your spirit soar as the actors of Berkeley Playhouse sweep you away with one of the most beloved… More
Reviews & Ratings
Featured review from Goldstar Member
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This was a seriously wacky show. I don't think my eyebrows could have raised any higher, as we were amazed and then amazed some more.
We really wanted to give the show 2.5 stars, but as that is not an option we rounded up in support of the arts in general.
Why didn't we like it even more? I guess we were expecting a bit more polish. The show is made up of a bunch of very short vaudeville acts that are all done by the same person. This guy must seriously eat his Wheaties because he is all over the place. It is obvious that we are working with an exceptionally creative and determined mind. I think he'd actually try almost anything.
Some acts are truly worthwhile and well-done-- his Cafe de Flambe is pretty smooth and spectacular, his juggling is wonderful (even though he "almost dropped one" several times), and his unicycle antics were great. Other acts leave you blinking in part horror, part mesmerization, part sheer shock-- his yoga guru act where dental floss and a balloon are threaded through his nose and out his mouth, his Francine act (wow!), and the Twisted Tongue Theatre are all examples of acts I spent watching either through my fingers or with my mouth hanging completely open or both.
There was a lot of yelling from backstage to "stretch" while a few technical snafus were corrected and plenty of unplanned banter with the audience when it got out of control. On one hand this was charming and felt like another kind of audience participation, on the other hand it felt loosie-goosie and distracting.
The band was PERFECT for the show-- clearly talented professionals and possessing just the right energy-- reminded me of the Muppet Show Band. The MC who facilitated between-act time and provided support throughout, "Igor," was REALLY outstandingly entertaining. The hypnotizing bit at the beginning was really fun. The character he portrayed was also a good fit and was executed well. (If he is reading this, though, I'd recommend some black smudged make-up under the eyes and a little white powder to make him pale a la Uncle Fester to deepen the look.)
Maybe my problem is just that I am not used to vaudeville. There is something grotesque about it, but at the same time it is captivating and can be remarkably charming. I was amused that all of the characters in the show were like "more-so" versions of people you might walk past on Berkeley's Telegraph Ave. I was also shocked at how many very small children attended-- but of course they thought the show was really, really, really cool. I hope my opinion here doesn't mean I am too conservative. That would suck.
Anyway... would I go again? Only to take someone who has not seen it, I think, or in blatant support of the artists. I am just not sure it would entertain me the second time. Do I think YOU should go? As long as you understand that you will be seeing something pretty raw, yes, I think I do.
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The show was very entertaining and true to the name, "twisted". The Julia Morgan Center is a perfect compliment to the show. The center has rustic overtones and is set in a nice neighborhood in the heart of Berkeley. Members should arrive early...continued
Quotes & Highlights
See video from the show, plus more information, at its website.
“Wickedly funny!” –New York Times
“One very funny guy! An astonishing tour de force.” —San Francisco Chronicle
“It’s unbelievable… comedy at its absolute best!” —KGO Radio
Frank Olivier’s Twisted Cabaret and Pandemonium Vaudeville is back! It’s a zany evening of demented fun. Olivier and his hunchback assistant Flynch (played by Unkle Paul Nathan) and the Twisted Cabaret Band return for a limited 3 show run, performing their outrageous thrill-show with Olivier’s wildly funny characters doing 12 astonishing & hilarious acts – from knife-throwing, magic and contortion to fire-eating, juggling, dancing girls and more. Twisted Cabaret is a fast-paced astounding tour de force with the multi-talented Olivier charting the unexplored outer edges of comedy.
Since last here, Olivier, a Berkeley native, has taken his show ‘Twisted Cabaret’ from England to Las Vegas. Olivier honed his skills on comedy club stages, and in theaters from New York to London, throughout Europe and Japan. His ‘Tonight Show’ appearances & other television shows have made him one of the most sought after variety performers anywhere.