A colorful dance theater show is set to have its official debut performance on one of the most beautiful stages in Philadelphia.
On Feb. 14-15, “Unicorn” will grace the stage of L’Etage in the Queen Village neighborhood of South Philadelphia. Workshopped as two separate performances in the spring of 2017, the 2018 Valentine’s weekend show will mark its first full and complete offering. Annie A-Bomb, the founding producer of the Cabaret Administration company, directed, co-wrote, and will perform in the show. She is excited to finally bring her full vision to the intimate L’Etage stage for audiences to enjoy.
“Unicorn is a show I’ve been wanting to do for a long time,” she said. “It’s about a unicorn who goes on a quest and then becomes a human woman due to a botched magic spell. She falls in love with a prince and forgets she was once a unicorn and she forgets her quest or purpose in life. It’s a narrative show, but it is abstract at times. There are some very sexy numbers, but there is also real emotion, sadness, and fear included.”
She noted that unicorns have been trending lately (such as the unicorn beverages offered by Starbucks in the past year), but adds that “for many years, ‘Unicorn’ has also been a term in the fetish community for someone who is likened to a mythical creature; someone who is elusive, rare, or simply amazing beyond words.”
“Unicorn” easily fits the mold of the Cabaret Administration company’s long term efforts to produce shows inspired less by popular culture and more by literary giants and subjects.
The show will also kick off A-bomb’s own 20-year anniversary in the Philadelphia burlesque and cabaret scene. Prior to the 2013 founding of the Cabaret Administration, she served as co-director of Cabaret Red Light, director of Revival Burlesque, and was also involved with the Peek-A-Boo Revue. She notes that a lot has changed since her debut in 1998, when the local burlesque scene had, at best, one show per month.
“Now, if you’re tapped into the scene, you’d notice there are often five shows a week by different companies,” she said. “Back in the old days, we literally grabbed people out of busking in the subway or out of strip clubs. Nowadays, many of the people I work with in burlesque are also involved in other professional dance or in traditional theater shows. People are still able to come to cabaret performances from non-traditional backgrounds though, which I think is wonderful. It is performance art so it doesn’t require official training to become a performer.”
In addition to A-Bomb, “Unicorn” will feature onstage and offstage magic by a number of power players in the city’s burlesque and performing arts scenes. The cast also includes Louise La Tease, Paul Severe Harlan (creator of the Everything’s Fine Happy Sunshine Sing Along), Venus Inferna, Cubby Altobelli, and newcomer Ginny Sleezly. A-Bomb teamed up with Mara Henao for show costumes and props and shared writing duties with Alexa Lewis. Choreography is credited to Vanessa Erin Gross, while Ren Enix is responsible for sound design.
“Valentine’s Day is a super fun burlesque holiday and the show is a super fun Valentine’s day date,” A-bomb noted.
If you go:
9:00 p.m., $25
624 S 6th St., Philadelphia