The last show I reviewed prior to start of the pandemic was an earlier iteration of this very burlesque, at the same venue.
Cabaret Macabre at ZJU consists of a series of dance pieces, most of them ensemble in some way (with some dazzling, disturbing solos) with a very gothic sensibility and sense of humor. Under the direction/choreography of Brittany DeWeese, the entire cast offers a real tour-de-force not only of dance skill, but acting, and integrating both together. This makes for no small feet!
Previous viewers of this show will probably recognize two pieces which have been done before--a triangle of preaching and temptation involving a preacher and two women (one of whom might be a lesbian succubus, maybe kinda/sorta), and the wonderful tangle of danger coupled with sensuality titled simply "Poison" (to a personal favorite tune).
There are so many wonderful things I could try and describe about this show, the naughty hautiness of the our mistress-of-ceremonies, the ballerina whose insane smile hints at her spider-esque contortionist skills, the amazingly spooky solo between a dancer and a shadow, all done to a slew a songs such as "These Boots Are Made for Walking" and "Hotel California". In fact I just did that. Just as I will praise all the cast: Michael Baker, Suzette Labra, Elle Martinez, Samantha Steiniger, Darian Stranix, and Bailey Swogger.
But the bottom line remains this is an amazing one hour show for anyone with an appreciation for dance and a wicked sense of humor. I took a friend when seeing it this time, someone who's fairly new to Los Angeles. He was dazzled, amazed, and delighted.
Odds are your reaction will be the same.
Cabaret Macabre plays Fridays and Saturdays at 8:30pm until May 28, 2022 at ZJU Theatre Group, 4850 Lankershim, North Hollywood CA 91601.