New cabaret club aims to give us the old razzle dazzle

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Staff Writer

The New Follies Cabaret Club, a newly-organized group on campus, wants to give South Bend a taste of classic vaudeville. IU South Bend students interested in performing acts inspired by the 1920s recently met.

Right now, the club mostly consists of IUSB theater students who plan on including community members who wish to perform. A variety of acts including comedy and dance will be in the shows.

“We have a lot of Abbott and Costello and Three Stooges-type Vaudeville acts,” said Brad Pontius, group creator. “Then, we also have a couple of more modern Fosse jazz acts that go along with it.”

Though cabaret can include burlesque, the club will not be performing that style of dance. Burlesque is adult in nature, and the club would like their shows to be appropriate for a larger audience.

The club hopes to perform in a variety of venues including local high schools.

“One of the initial ideas when we presented it to professors was that it could be a show by itself or it could be a traveling show that we can take around to high schools to advertise for the school of the arts,” Pontius said.

The styles of vaudeville and Bob Fosse, famous jazz choreographer, are distinct. Both styles will be incorporated into shows.

“I’m minoring in dance so it’s going to be fun to work with Vaudeville and Fosse,” said Kala Erickson, choreographer.

Erickson is interested in collaborating with other performers to create a unique experience for audiences.

“The beauty of cabaret and Vaudeville is the variety of the acts,” Pontius said. “In the 1920s and the Gilded Age, the big thing was that it was basically the television of the day. You could go to a cabaret show and it wouldn’t be the same thing two nights in a row.”

The club would like to have at least twelve acts for their shows. They hope to hold auditions in the near future but have no specific date at the time of press. Anyone interested in auditioning for the club is welcome.

The group can be found on Facebook by searching for the open group “The New Follies.”

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