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Kafka-ish: Kafka @Finborough

In offering proof that Kafka is everything to everyone - writer-performer Jack Klaff plays various roles, including the man himself in what is a part tour, part immersion and part legend of Franz Kafka. He is a writer who achieved fame after his life was cut short due to succumbing to tuberculosis at the age of forty. He is probably better known for his reputation and the Kafkaesque style attributed to his writing than his life. But after this piece, you’re left curious to learn more about the man and his works. And that has to be the best theatrical tribute you could give a writer, even for a writer who stipulated that his works be destroyed upon his death. It’s currently playing at the Finborough Theatre . Franz Kafka was born in Prague in 1883. In 1901, he was admitted to a university and began studying law. While studying, he met Max Brod, who would become his best friend and eventual literary executor. Brod would posthumously publish many of his works and writings. Kafka’s life co

Streaming from a long way home: Side by Side

Ann Hampton Callaway and her sister Liz Callaway are reunited at Ann's home in Tucson to stream their concert Side By Side to our homes. Both are award-winning artists with a reputation for insightful interpretations of popular songs, broadway and jazz, along with their compositions. Last seen in London at the Hippodrome in 2015, the stream captures some of the magic of their live cabaret performances. 

Their last collaboration, Sibling Revelry, sent up the idea they were brutal competitors. The focus here is more on getting together and singing some songs. Microphones may not work (or get dropped), lyrics get messed up, but they carry on with the spirit of being together and making music.  

Songs include Melissa Manchester's Come In From the Rain, songs by Sondheim and Stephen Schwartz. There's also a medley of songs they used to sing growing up from the back of the car to taunt their parents on long drives. You could imagine their parents weighing up whether to be annoyed by their questionable music choices or impressed by their musicality. And they also sing their biggest hit, the theme song to the show "The Nanny". 

Their reunion inspires the show after being apart from the pandemic. Reunited at Ann's brightly lit sunny home during the day, it seems less of a hideaway cabaret venue and more the sort of place Oprah would host an interview. Some of us like our jazz and cabaret looking darker and smokey. But the song choices and their interpretations make up for this.

Part of a semi-regular stream from Ann Hampton Callaway called Callaway's Hideaway, there are additional streams in July and August. Ann Hampton Callaway is also releasing several singles this year, the latest being her Robert Frost collaboration "Revelation," which has come out this month. Side By Side is available until the end of May. Check out the website for more details.

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