Review Fix chats with Robert Hoffman, who discusses his upcoming promotion of “What the Fandango?”
The show will run Tuesday June 25 at 7:30pm and Saturday on the eve of World Pride New York, Saturday June 29 at 7:30pm at Revelation Gallery, 224 Waverly Place (between W11th ST and 7th Ave.
About Robert Hoffman:
Hofmann has sung many roles with West Australian Opera including Koko in The Mikado and Dulcamara in The Elixir of Love. He has sung with Opera Australia and performed in two cabarets with DivaLicious at the Sydney Opera House. His award-winning cabaret, Desperately Young at Heart played in Perth, Melbourne, Sydney and Edinburgh Fringes to rave reviews. Playing the piano accordion is the brilliant New York based Will Holshouser who has played with Ute Lemper, David Krakauer, Antony and The Johnsons, Martha Wainwright, Loudon Wainwright, Andy Statman, Phillip Johnston, Matt Munisteri & Brock Mumford, the Raymond Scott (tribute) Orchestrette, Roberto Rodriguez, Mark Morris Dance, New York City Ballet, Brooklyn Philharmonic Orchestra, and many others including Ron Horton (trumpet) and David Phillips (bass) in the Will Holshouser Trio.
Review Fix: What was the inspiration for this project?
Robert Hoffman: I love singing, theatre and making people laugh so I was inspired to create a cabaret with four characters, partly based on people I have encountered, who have compelling reasons to sing. For example, one of my characters, Susan Higgins (pictured) is a Christian guitar-playing singer who was inspired by a real life experience I had attending a Catholic church service for Good Friday. The singer then played a Taize hymn to help us reflect but it was just an uninspired short piece of music repeated over and over and over and getting more and more out of tune. I had to leave the church service as I almost had a panic attack.
Review Fix: What’s your creative process like?
Hoffman: I start with real-life experiences and turn them into comedy cabaret. I go through many drafts of the script with my director and assistant director/muse and others who help me edit and clarify my material for maximum impact on the audience. I tell my designer all about the characters I invent and she makes a costume to suit them. Songs (both my originals and covers) often present themselves as perfect choices to suit the comedy situation. But sometimes I find a song I love and work it in.
Review Fix: What makes this different or special from other musical events of this genre?
Hoffman: In my show I play five different characters involving six costume changes without ever leaving the stage during this one-hour cabaret. Some costume changes are done while singing. I do not know of any other cabaret like that. (See photo, all are me, Robert Hofmann except the accordion player, that’s NY legend Will Holshouser)
Review Fix: What did you learn/are learning about yourself through this process?
Hoffman: That I have the ability to fully inhabit a character/persona that is not me and this makes people laugh.
Review Fix: What are your ultimate goals for this for the future?
Hoffman: To perform my cabarets in major venues/theatres in places like Sydney, London and New York.
Review Fix: What’s next?
Hoffman: I am sketching out ideas for my next cabaret which may premiere at Perth Fringe World 2020.