Cabaret Chronicles: Fall Preview

by Michael Barbieri
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I Only Have Lies For You
What do you get when you bring together MAC Award winner Amy Wolk and panelists from Broadway, cabaret and television, telling outrageous and hilarious stories about their careers and their pasts, with the understanding that those stories may be complete and utter LIES?!  

You get I Only Have Lies For You, a new live game show presented onstage at the Laurie Beechman Theater!

I recently caught the Season 1 Finale, wherein Wolk, Musical Director William TN Hall, and panelists that included Telly Leung (Aladdin), Jenn Gambatese (School of Rock), Kelvin Moon Loh (Spongebob Squarepants), Sarah Chase (The Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt), Steve Rosen (Spamalot), and Wesley Taylor (Smash), all got big laughs from the packed house!

The concept is fairly simple: It’s a lying contest!  Panelists are divided into two teams.  Over three rounds of play, contestants on one team tell stories about their shows, past auditions, onstage flubs, and even childhood experiences.  The opposing team must guess if those stories are true or not.  If they guess correctly, they rack up points.  In order to better fool their opponents, panelists can defend their stories by any means possible, including song and dance!

The night I attended, some of the best stories included:
 -Kelvin Moon Loh’s account of a night he delivered a line incorrectly at the beginning of a performance of Spongebob Squarepants, almost ruining the plot line of the entire musical  That was true! 
 -Sarah Chase telling us about an episode of Law & Order she was shooting, and how she delivered her one line - “Oh my GOD! The crane!  It’s FALLING!” - so badly, that the director took her aside and simply told her “Act better!” She was asked to show us how bad the reading really was.  And yes, it was excruciatingly bad...and funny.  Her story was true!
-Telly Leung recalling a night when he was appearing in Allegiance, a very serious musical about a Japanese family’s experience in an internment camp during World War II.  As he began his big number, he went up on his lyrics, so he just grunted his way through the song instead!  The other team asked him to prove his story by recreating the moment, which he did - quite hilariously; grunting and groaning and grabbing his chest.  That story was true, too!

Perhaps the biggest reaction came when Steve Rosen told us about seeing Liza Minnelli in the film of Cabaret when he was a child, which led to a lifelong obsession with Minnelli.  He collected all her albums and if I remember correctly, he even told us he mounted an amateur production of Cabaret in school.  The opposing team grilled him about his love of the star, and eventually decided he was telling the truth.  His response?  “I don’t know a THING about Liza Minnelli!”  He had fooled everyone, and the audience erupted into gales of hysterical laughter and spontaneous applause!

I Only Have Lies For You is a ton of fun.  It’s fast-paced, fascinating, and above all, very, very funny!  There’s nothing else like it in cabaret these days - you get a lot of entertainment for the money!  For a $15 cover charge plus a $20 minimum, you’ll get some of the hottest talent on Broadway, and the possibility that they’ll, sing, dance, reenact terrible moments from their careers and tell amazing true stories...or not!

Season 2 is coming this fall!  Shows are on Sundays at 9:30 on September 9th, October 7th, November 4th and December 2nd.

So “Tell Me Lies, Tell Me Sweet Little Lies,” but remember, “It’s a Sin to Tell a Lie”  ...unless you’re playing I Only Have Lies For You!!

I Only Have Lies For You is also available as a podcast.  You can find it at as well as through iTunes.  For more information, go to 

Michael Kirk Lane - Glass Half Full
Also returning this fall is Michael Kirk Lane, with Glass Half Full, a show full of hope and optimism that felt like a needed tonic in these days of political turmoil and uncertainty.  
Along with Musical Director William TN Hall, and backup vocalists Laura Pavles and Sean Bernardi, Lane presents cheery songs like “Life’s a Happy Song,” “High Hopes,” and “Brother Love’s Traveling Salvation Show,” in an effort to help us forget about our current administration.  In “Republicans,” he sings of a sexual encounter with a Republican, letting us know that it felt great to be screwing him the way they’re currently screwing the country!  There’s a parody of “He’s a Tramp,” called “He’s a Trump,” and even an Epic Broadway Medley!

Michael Kirk Lane returns to Don’t Tell Mama on September 10th, at 7:00 PM, so escape your troubles for an hour with Glass Half Full! 

Spencer Day
Handsome, talented, modern-day crooner Spencer Day continues his residency at The Green Room 42, with shows August 17th and September 21st, at 7:00 PM.  

A self proclaimed Fomo Momo Homo (Former Mormon Homosexual), Day presents songs from his most recent CD, Angel City.  Using the city of Los Angeles as a backdrop, songs like “The California Yes,” “72 and Sunny,” and the haunting “Ghost of the Chateau Marmont” paint a witty, moody, and often wistful picture of the City of Angels.  Along the way, however, he also presents a few standards and even a couple of 50’s rock classics. 

With a fantastic voice and charming stage presence, Day evokes Harry Connick Jr, Peter Allen, with a touch of Buddy Holly and Elvis, but he’s always uniquely himself.  

Check him out at The Green Room 42 in NYC, at The Smith Center in Las Vegas, at Spaghettini in Seal Beach, CA, and at The Annenberg Theater in Palm Springs, CA!
For more information, go to 

You’re sure to FALL for these acts!


Michael Barbieri

Food & Entertainment Writer