[image-1] Queen Street Playhouse kicks off its 2020 Queen Street Music Series with a two-night run of In the Key of B, a cabaret show featuring the vocal talents of Brian Porter and Becca Anderson. Snag tickets for the performances, held on Jan. 10 and 11 at 7:30 p.m., online.
Queen Street Playhouse, home of the Footlight Players, is revamping their music series this year, focusing on more vocalists and jazz artists. Porter, who is Footlight's executive director, and Kyle Barnette, head of What If? Productions and the curator/orchestrator of the cabaret evening, say that during these performances they want Queen Street to feel like more of an intimate space.
And what better way than a cabaret evening, with Porter and Anderson accompanied only by piano? The evening's pianist, Kay Thorn, acknowledges their role as the evening's third actor of sorts, rearranging songs so that the ear doesn't miss other instruments, following the lead of the singers as they perform — not always exactly as they practiced.
Sitting in on a rehearsal just a week before In the Key of B, it's easy to see how Porter and Anderson can put together a show fairly quickly. The two, along with Thorn, have worked together for years.
"It increases the dynamic and makes it more organic," says Porter of performing with familiar faces. And while the talented Anderson and Porter (both past winners of Best of Charleston's best actress and best actor awards, respectively) make the production look natural, Anderson assures us she's "terrified" every time she gets on stage.
"Singing is a full body workout," says Anderson. "You train for this — and you know when you're out of shape." Fortunately, Barnette has organized the music so Porter and Anderson don't have too many big ballads back-to-back. After all, this is a marathon, not a sprint.
You'll hear a wide variety of musical genres, from Sondheim classics to current tunes to some "obscure stuff" (please see: songs from Taboo, the 2002 stage musical with lyrics and music by Boy George).
Oh, and there's a great song about a candy bar, too. "Oh Henry!" this is going to be a fun show.