American Cabaret Theatre
directed by Kenny Shepard and Carol Worcel
The intimate cabaret setting of the ACT is an ideal venue for the musical revue Swing! Once the production begins, the viewer immediately feels transported to a Broadway café or USO show during World War II. Adding to this effect are the historically accurate costumes and the fast-paced jazz music and style of dance that characterize the revue. While this quantum leap may be comforting to those who lived during this time, it may seem overly foreign and even inaccessible to younger audience members.
Swing! will inevitably compel a portion of the crowd to tap their feet and nostalgically reminisce over a bygone era in which the music of Count Basie, Duke Ellington and Bennie Goodman ruled the airwaves. Some will even join the performers in dancing to such oldies as “It Don’t Mean A Thing If It Ain’t Got That Swing” and “Boogie Woogie Bugle Boy.” Younger members of the audience will be left wondering at some of the revue’s lesser known songs, however, as well as to their significance to the rest of the production, as there is little in the way of plot structure to guide them.
This should not detract from the fact that John Austin Butsch and THE STINGERS are virtuosos at their craft and perform each song masterfully. Nor should the choreography and dancing go unmentioned, especially that of the lithe Alyssa Scotten. Although the music and dance that are at the core of Swing! are both especially well done, these elements are not enough for it to appeal to the new breed of hipster. Through July 6; 317-631-0334.