Posted October 6, 2012 | © Photo courtesy of Emily Bergl
In a glamorous evening affair that has developed a reputation as one of the most popular fundraising events in the city, Dallas Children’s Theater celebrated the 20th anniversary of their annual Cabaret Gala at downtown Dallas’ Fairmont Hotel.Supporters and guests gathered in the swanky Venetian Room where gift bags awaited each individual, champagne corks popped, and beautifully appointed tables displayed a delicious selection of savory treats and dessert sweets.
DCT’s Associate Artistic Director Artie Olaisen and Gala Chair Yvonne Crum welcomed attendees, Marisa Huckin announced sponsors, and legendary comedienne Ruth Buzzi was called upon to draw names to determine raffle prize winners (which she humorously did with a little song vaguely reminiscent of her Ha Ha Song from Laugh In).When Ruth quite randomly ended up drawing her own name, she paused momentarily, slowly looked up and around, then shouted excitedly, “I’m going to Santa Fe!!!”
Next, making her Dallas debut, the sweet and sexy Emily Bergl (known for her acting role on ABC's Desperate Housewives and more) took the stage accompanied by pianist G. Scott Lacy along with “the cutest” bassist/ukulelist Daniel Fabricant.
Delighting the audience with “Mad About the Boy,” “Tonight You Belong To Me,” and the 1899 song “Hello! Ma Baby” (also sung at the symphony in Dallas this week by the top-hatted, high-steppin’ Michigan J. Frog), Emily occasionally leaned against the piano (with a drink that was “not just a prop”) for “Peel Me a Grape” and “Crying Over You.” It was however her facetious version of “It Had to be You” that brought out the Southern appreciation and her somewhat surprised response, “I don’t think I’ve ever heard ‘yee-haw’ at one of my cabaret shows ... I like that.”
Enchanting the crowd with her speakeasy approach and appealing (but lil’ bit naughty) charm, Emily gave a salute to the days when “Ladies wore gloves, men wore hats, and people had attention spans to listen to entire f---ing songs.”She stripped off her long skirt to reveal a shorter, sequined one before performing a satirically sloooowed down rendition of Madonna’s “Material Girl” and a hilarious ode to technology in romance with “Telephone” by Lady Gaga featuring Beyonce.
Born of a British father and Irish mother (who met incidentally at a bar), Emily has a few accents in her repertoire and performed one number entirely in French. What was she saying? Who cared? Maybe we were just pleasantly distracted by the imaginary cigarette she was smoking.
When the time came however for a short German language lesson, Emily briefly brought the music to a halt by commanding in thick accent, “Schtop to the piano!”Feigning severe disappointment in the audience’s utter lack of ability to properly pronounce the word “shoen” of “danke schoen” (German for “thank you”), she sang a lovely “Bei Mir Bist Du Schoen” before roaming table to table in search of a 'pupil' with an accurate interpretation.After repeated example and stern criticism, she pouted, “It’s like I’m schpeaking a different language!” but she was ultimately satisfied by the acceptable attempt of the skinny Fraulein who “did not finish her dessert.” Emily ended the fun role-play by remarking, “You like being abused in Dallas ... note to self.”
Despite the insistence that she “Ain't Misbehavin',” Emily later made another round through the room to enlist a little wardrobe-task assistance.Sitting on a lap or two along the way, she contemplated, “Who’s this brunette looking at me in horror?I like a man who’s a little scared.”Eventually, she found a female blonde “hottie” who unzipped Emily’s short dress to reveal a costume that was ... well, just a little bit more revealing.
“Is That All There Is?” was then all there was before an encore of “Dream a Little Dream of Me,” but it might be the performance of Irving Berlin’s “The Song Is Ended (but the Melody Lingers On)” that best describes how the night will be remembered:
A moment of bliss we spent
Our hearts were filled with a song of romance
As into the night we went
And sang to our hearts' content.
The annual DCT Cabaret Gala is an absolutely wonderful evening of fun, lighthearted, adult entertainment that raises money to benefit children’s programs and plays such as Pinkalicious, the organization’s current smash success.
For more information about Dallas Children’s Theater and Emily Bergl, visit them online at: