This party after the all-day, free Berkeley World Music Festival has turned into a tradition at Ashkenaz. The Berkeley World Music Festival (www.berkeleyworldmusic.org), celebrating its 10th year on Telegraph Avenue, features many world artists who often play Ashkenaz. Tonight's post-fest party features the return of Vagabond Opera, the self-contained instant cabaret theater extravaganza. It is also the debut of the troupe’s first show with a plot, “The Pocket Watch.” Directed by vocalist-violinist Annie Rosen, it includes not only the ensemble, but also the Sepiatonic Dancers.
The Portland, Oregon-based Vagabond Opera is described by the Washington Post as “a band of ceaseless charisma, boundless energy, impeccable musicianship and more than a little touch of both the naughty and exotic.” It delivers passionate offerings of Bohemian cabaret, Paris hot jazz, gutbucket swing, tangos, Ukrainian folk-punk ballads, klezmer, and vigorous originals, meeting in a world of riverboat gambling queens, Turkish belly dancers, and the enigmatic Marlene Dietrich. Weaving elements of Kurt Weill, Duke Ellington, and Edith Piaf with absurdist flair, theatrics, and an old-world mood, Vagabond Opera presents the new wave of opera – lusty voices singing in 14 languages and a cabaret of rich musical phrasing, sparkling lyrics, and indomitable stage presence, all played with exuberance, skill, and a gritty Vagabond edge.
Created in 2002 by operatic tenor, composer, and accordion player Eric Stern, Vagabond Opera is at the center of the neo-cabaret phenomenon. Since 2003 it has issued four CDs while performing all over the U.S. and in Europe; they are played regularly on NPR. For this tour the band, in addition to Rosen and Stern, is bassist Drew Nelson, saxophonist Paul Evans, and drummer and percussionist Susan Lucia. Plus, the dazzling Sepiatonic Dancers: Karolina Lux on trumpet, vocals, and belly dancing; and Bevin Victoria doing cabaret and belly dancing!
When & Where
Ashkenaz is the East Bay's home to world music & dance... established 1973; nonprofit since 1997. We are always all ages! Kids 12 & under are admitted free unless otherwise noted.
All of our online ticket sales are will call. We will have a list of ticket buyers at the door; you do not need to bring a printout of your ticket/order confirmation.
Doors open 30 minutes before showtime, or 30 minutes before the dance lesson if there is one, unless otherwise noted.
Ashkenaz's Café opens when doors open and offers beer (draft and bottled), wine, kombucha, juices, sodas, coffee and tea, and snacks and light meals (all vegetarian, mostly organic).