For The Record: Tarantino In Concert
This invigorating cabaret show brings to life the music -- and memories -- of Quentin Tarantino's films.
By sprinkling snippets of dialogue and using memorable props and evocative costumes from such films as Reservoir Dogs, Pulp Fiction, and Kill Bill, along with most of the best songs found in his movies, producer Shane Scheel and music director Christopher Lloyd Bratten capture both the heightened violence and the gallows humor found in Tarantino's films.
The songs are perfectly laid out, with ballads like "Lonesome Town" followed by sultry numbers like "Long Time Woman," novelty numbers like "The Man With the Big Sombrero," and showstoppers like "Don't Let Me Be Misunderstood." The accomplished band takes many of these complicated hits and captures all the nuances of the many musical genres towards which Tarantino gravitates.
Scheel and Bratten have assembled a stellar cast of rotating performers. Wisely, they don't merely mimic the original vocalists; they bring their own wicked humor to the songs. Lisa Datz sensually teases the audience with "Son of a Preacher Man." Jason Paige does a perverse Elvis Presley lap-dance with "I Gotcha." Voluptuous RaShonda Johnson displays her inner sass in "Street Life" gyrating around like a young Tina Turner.
Ginifer King oozes femme fatale sensuality in "Bang Bang" and tropical frivolity in "The Man In The Big Sombrero". Anderson Davis taps into 1950s rock-n-roll hysteria with "You Never Can Tell." Darryl Semira soulfully unleashes "Lonesome Town" so well you can hear the vinyl record hum, and Danielle Truitt brings in the funk with "Baby It's You." But it's the powerful upper register of Von Smith that blows away the audience; the long-held high notes in "Satisfied Mind" caused a standing ovation in the middle of the show.
The choreography is simple and precise, every move exact and pointed with a glimmer of Bob Fosse-like razzle-dazzle. There's not a lot of room to move around on the small stage, but the cast allows very little to work very well.