Cabaret is one of the fastest growing theatrical forms in North America. It’s much more than a concert but less demanding than a traditional musical. Essentially, cabaret is a solo performance of music and storytelling where the performer portrays themself.
Award winning, international cabaret artist, Sharron Matthews, in collaboration with Canada’s foremost theatre for young audiences, the Young People’s Theatre in Toronto, has developed an interactive, current, and popular- music-filled cabaret for children from 9–13 years old.
“I am super excited to be coming back to the Rose Theatre for the seventh time,” says Matthews, who returns with the show on Feb. 18.
Like her other acclaimed cabarets, in Invincible You, Invincible Me she weaves personal stories from her own childhood of dealing with bullying, negative self image, anxiety and overcoming adversity, around accessible, usually instantly recognizable, and current songs of the day like Shake if Off and Uptown Funk.
As a singer Matthews, who has performed as an actor and singer for decades on Canada’s biggest stages, has the unique ability to convey the lyrics of nearly any song as if they were a confession of great truth. However, her sincerity as a storyteller is usually what steals the show.
“I’ll bring all the sass and pop culture references of my past performances,” says Matthews. “This time, it’s for kids.”
It’s clear that she sincerely means this too. Her efforts to build a performance that doesn’t pander but offers a chance for kids to fully buy in to the moment garnered the show three Dora nominations last year; including best new play, best production and best performance.
The show is about an hour long and, in its initial Toronto run, had students hanging on every word and note. The comment returned to the theatre more than any others was that the kids in the audience felt both seen and heard.
Matthews is accompanied by two accomplished musicians for the show; a percussionist with an eye and ear-catching kit of musical instruments and toys and a multi instrumental string artist who plays electric and acoustic guitar as well as bass ukulele. There is something for every child (as well as teachers and parents) to see, hear and experience.
Sharron’s Cabaret for Kids creates a comfortable, safe and exciting space for children not only to discover, but to also voice their ideas and, to their great surprise and joy, to heartily sing a-long!
“I cannot wait,” says Matthews.
Invincible You, Invincible Me: Sharron Matthews’ Cabaret for Kids performs at the Rose Theatre on Feb 18 at 2 p.m. and 6:30 p.m. Tickets are available by calling 905-874-2800 or by clicking here.