Fringe review: Who Run the World: A Madwomen’s Cabaret

By John Lyle Belden

In “Who Run the World: A Madwomen’s Cabaret,” by Darrin Murrell, presented by Main Street Artists at the IndyFringe Basile Theatre, Julie Lyn Barber plays all the roles (except for Murrell as Lizzy Borden, our accompanist) including a certain woman running for President next year on the Democrat ticket.

As the candidate prepares to accept her nomination, other famous and infamous female leaders from history appear to her to give encouragement and advice in song. For example, Cleopatra croons “Cry me a (Nile) River” and Queen Elizabeth I sings “Like a Virgin.” The visitors come from all over time and the globe, from Chinese empress Wu Zetian to British prime minister Margaret Thatcher.

The performances are wonderful and witty, but the show is problematic in that a bright strobe light sits center stage and flashes straight at the audience during every character transition, which happens at least a dozen times. Also, I found the voice-over introducing each character before she appears sounding distorted and hard to hear.

Aside from the flaws, this cabaret is an interesting and entertaining musical history lesson.


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