At first glance, Canadian cabaret artist Ryan G. Hinds doesn't look like you'd expect an interpreter of Kander and Ebb's classy songbook to appear, with his glittering ruby-slipper lipstick and rooster coxcomb of a coif. But as soon as he begins speaking about his lifelong love of the songwriting duo's catalogue — from The Act
— it's clear Hinds is the real deal. Hinds smartly spends only 15 seconds on the overdone Chicago
before diving into some deeper cuts, but even if you aren't familiar with Steel Pier
or Kiss of the Spider Woman
, Hinds' enthusiasm for the music is irresistibly infectious.
Between numbers accompanied by limber-fingered pianist Giustin Maclean, Hinds guides his audience through a non-chronological fantasia of his fandom, throwing shade at Andrew Lloyd Webber and Lauren Bacall and sharing saucy stories of his real-life close encounters with the writers and their most famous collaborators, Liza Minnelli and Chita Rivera. Hinds doesn't have the biggest pipes in the festival; but even if he isn't always pitch-perfect, he injects so much personality into each interpretation, and projects so much joy through his warm eyes and wide smile, that you'll wonder, "Why should I wake up?" from this musical dream.
Thursday, May 18, 8:30 PM
Saturday, May 20, 3:00 PM
Sunday, May 21, 12:45 PM
Tuesday, May 23, 10:30 PM
Thursday, May 25, 5:30 PM