Bay Area Cabaret opens its 22-23 season with a rare lineup choice – post-modern diva Meow Meow, the alter ego of Melissa Madden Grey. Unusual in this modern cabaret Meow Meow which chooses a 20th century Weimar style that challenges and provokes the public. It’s not a show tunes and Great American Songbook party and not everyone’s palate for sure. Behind the comedic facade and burlesque slapstick is a thoughtful and talented singer who lets the music do the talking.

She plays on her unique appearance, looking like a windswept Joan Collins. Strutting onstage like the diva that she is, Meow quietly mentioned, “That’s a lot, I know.” When no one threw flowers at her feet, she stopped the show to offer her own adoration. She plays with lighting technology, providing her own lineups, often to mask that he’s taking a sip of straight-out-of-the-bottle wine or chewing on hard candy. When she can’t shock the stage, the stagehands present her with a turntable and spin her through a beautiful cover of Radiohead’s “Fake Plastic Trees.”

She’s a natural comedian who’s endearing to audiences, but she really shines when she sinks into her wildly eclectic material. Since her days with Pink Martini, she has offered “I Lost Myself (I’m Hungry…and that ain’t right) written by composer/collaborator Thomas Lauderdale as well as a co-written “Hotel Amour” from from his CD of the same title.His riveting and emotive delivery.

Kurt Weil and Bertolt Brecht are portrayed by “Pirate Jenny” from threepenny opera, performed boldly entirely in German. Same with 1929’s “Surabaya Johnny”, performed rather than just sung, understanding the context of the material. Another German cabaret song, “Alles Schwindel (It’s All a Swindle)” may have pushed the boundary of non-English presentations. To complete his tribute to European song, a beautiful interpretation of “Sans toi (Without You)”, music by Michel Legrand and words by Agnès Yarda interpreted in French.

Accompanying Meow Meow was Emmy-winning pianist/composer/singer and musical director Lance Horne, who has worked with a host of super talented performance artists such as; Rufus Wainwright, Vivian Bond and Taylor Mac. Its light and lyrical touch is a perfect counterpoint to Meow’s material. Closing the show was a haunting rendition of Patti Griffin’s “Kite Song,” a call to overcome grief and sadness and weather life’s storms. A poignant and beautiful finish, the unique personality it’s Meow Meow.

The next step for Bay Area Cabaret is Broadway world“Vocalist of the Year” and winner of the Mabel Mercer Foundation Award Carole J. Bufford on November 20. Tickets available at®id=18& or by calling (415)927-4636.

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