Cabaret Review: Miriam: I'm a Lady?


Miriam is a character co-created by former college roommates Eric Schmalenberger and Michael Newman and performed by Mr. Schmalenberger. Her personality is a cross between Rosalind Russell's Auntie Mame and an asshole. Her appearance is a cross between Mr. Schmalenberger (tall, unshaved, wearing men's underwear) and a drag queen (red wig, long sequin dresses, and high heels). Despite not having much female in the family tree as just described, Miriam is a woman. She just might not be a lady.

Miriam has performed and emceed numerous events, but this performance at the People's Improv Theater was her first solo show. In it, she must have drunk a dozen glasses of Champagne that she ordered her boy-servant Jorge (Michael Newman) to deliver. "Drinks are like breasts dear, I don't need two, but i look awfully funny with just one. Now get me another drink."

Betwixt gulps, Miriam showed that she is a woman who kisses and tells: everyone from Karl Rove to Aladdin (yes, the animated Disney character). But she also revealed herself as a bit of a songbird, mixing show tunes with '90s crowd-pleasers like Creep and Stay. (She had the good fortune to be accompanied by the accomplished pianist Maria Dessena. And Jacob Hobart Brown as her tech boy.)

The standing-room-only crowd roared with laughter. Spotted in the crowd were such bold-faced names as Roxanna Rector, Krys Nicholls, Jake Thomas, Margot Inzetta, Ridgely Dodge, Kevin Park, Lewis Rawlings, Erin Cunningham, Kae Burke, Mike Cherepko, Lisa Filipek, Laura Podolnick, Amanda Peck, Rachel Klein, and Meredith Modzelewski.


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