Posted: 01/11/2011

 

Soul Kittens Cabaret

by Elaine Hegwood Bowen




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Soul Kittens Cabaret is what I think is a lame stage musical about fame, self-discovery, temptation and music that is available on DVD. But everyone has to make a buck. And Soul Kittens Cabaret makes its money off of advertising that Fantasia Barrino and Faith Evans are in this production. The movie was well into the first hour, and I’d only seen either of the two superstars just one time.

It’s the story of seven girls who work at a cabaret dance club, that’s owned by an over-the-top gay manager who prances around more than the dancers. It brought me to mind of a “chitlin circuit”, vaudeville, black gospel play, which it really is. I don’t like those plays; I never spend money on those plays. But, I must admit there is a market for these plays, and I’m sure there are readers out there who would love this musical.

There was an equally as lame laugh track, and most of the girls in this Detroit club are super-sized and would probably not find work in most dance clubs. The story is of a newcomer who arrives at the club with a sob story that turns out to be a lie. She replaces a veteran dancer, and therein lies the conflict.

The owner, TaTa, tries to ward off the takeover intentions of the previous owner’s son, who is upset that his father had a relationship with TaTa and signed over the club in a weak romantic moment. Evans and Fantasia are the good and bad girls, good vs. evil, who try to convince the girls to be good or just go crazy.

Many are doing drugs and are also working as prostitutes. There is much sparring between the girls, and flexing by the bartender and front door guy named Mike. Soul Kittens Cabaret is good enough, if you want to spend more than two hours, watching women bicker, bemoan the bad men and relationships in their lives and dance and sing in between.

The stage play is available January 11 from Image Entertainment. For more information visit www.image-entertainment.com.

Elaine Hegwood Bowen is an editor, writer and film critic in Chicago.



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