Theater review: Teatro Del Gusto launches at The Orange Peel

_MG_7077

The group behind Teatro del Gusto calls the cabaret circus a “feast for the senses.” The new series, which premiered at The Orange Peel on July 13, included vaudeville, burlesque, and classic circus entertainment.

Local rockers Red Honey opened the show with a set of half a dozen tunes — some original and some covers. Lead singer Erika Jane Ferraby alternated between wielding a mean guitar and a cat of nine tails that she used to wail on a cymbal, providing precise percussive licks. Future Teatro del Gusto installments will include other bands with sets before and after the main feature.

Madame Onca O’Leary gave the audience a  couple of dazzling vocal numbers, despite being unseen throughout the majority of the show. The true star was ringmaster Paulo Garbanzo, who acted as a through line. Garbanzo is a superior juggler, as well as a natural comedic presence, whose playful banter with the audience gave the show charm and personality.

Co-host, Mark Slomski, who sang and clowned around with Garbanzo throughout, was far too laid back and his presence felt out of sync with the rest of the show, despite a couple of fun and funny musical numbers. When not singing, he simply lacked the energy required to keep this sort of show afloat.

There were some dazzling moments with a trio of aerialists, who used three sets of silks to their fullest. There were also several instances of beautiful women performing classic striptease onstage. The performance was in a style popular during the early last century, and what people found to be titillating back then is downright tame by today’s standards.

All in all, the evening was a success. There were laughs, cheers and a bit of audience participation. Teatro del Gusto shows much promise of becoming a new Asheville tradition.

Teatro del Gusto returns on Sunday, Aug. 17, at the Orange Peel. $17 in advance, $20, day of show.  www.theorangepeel.net

SHARE
About Jeff Messer
playwright, actor, director and producer, Jeff Messer has been most recently known as a popular radio talk show host. He has been a part of the WNC theatre scene for over 25 years, and actively works with and supports most of the theatres throughout the region. Follow me @jeffdouglasmess

Before you comment

The comments section is here to provide a platform for civil dialogue on the issues we face together as a local community. Xpress is committed to offering this platform for all voices, but when the tone of the discussion gets nasty or strays off topic, we believe many people choose not to participate. Xpress editors are determined to moderate comments to ensure a constructive interchange is maintained. All comments judged not to be in keeping with the spirit of civil discourse will be removed and repeat violators will be banned. See here for our terms of service. Thank you for being part of this effort to promote respectful discussion.

Leave a Reply

To leave a reply you may Login with your Mountain Xpress account, connect socially or enter your name and e-mail. Your e-mail address will not be published. All fields are required.