If you are in the mood for a cabaret act that doesn’t take itself at all seriously, this one’s for you.
Musical comedy duo The Show Biz Kids, featuring Becca Kaufman and Dick O’Day, perform “The Trailer Park of Cabaret” Jan. 26 at North Central College in Naperville. The show features a series of medleys.
The show is at 6 p.m. Jan. 26, in North Central College’s Madden Theatre at the Fine Arts Center, 171 E. Chicago Ave.
Richard Knight, Jr. is the founder of The Showbiz Kids and plays the character of Dick O’Day, an “old showbiz type of guy who’s kind of trapped back with the Rat Pack,” he said. It’s a character he created in the mid-1980s for a one-man cabaret act.
He had a lot of different guest singers come in. Kaufman was one of those guests.
“He’s a very cranky kind of guy. He has a bad accent and wears a bad yellow jacket and calls everyone ‘kiddo,’ that sort of thing,” he said. “He thinks he’s tremendous, and he’s really terrible. Becca is the newbie, and she’s sensational.”
About 20 years ago, they teamed up to create the Showbiz Kids duo. When they started out, they sang songs unheard of before in a cabaret act — a rock ‘n’ roll medley, a medley of bad songs, a medley of TV theme songs — to name a few.
“We called ourselves The Trailer Park of Cabaret, because we’re not a refined act,” he said. “Immediately, we were a comic thing. But we would always have moments — and we still do — of seriousness, because Becca sings so beautifully.”
The act hasn’t changed much since then, he said.
“I come out and play badly and sing badly, and she sings beautifully, and we do all these crazy medleys on different subjects,” he said. “We have a tropical medley, a disco medley, an ‘80s medley and a James Bond medley.”
They don’t do the show as much as they did 10 years ago because both are busy with other projects. They’ve tweaked the act to include a few new songs, like a Lady Gaga medley.
The show is geared toward fans of music with a sense of humor.
“You’ve got to have a sense of humor for us. We’re not good for the elitist folks,” he said. “We hopefully have a lot of mainstream appeal so that we’ve got something for everybody. We certainly have played for all kinds of audiences. We started out with a lot of college kids that would come in — hipsters loved us because of the little club we started out in was a very hip place.
“Mom and Dad love us, Grandma and Grandpa love us because my character is mentally back in the ’50s and ’60s. Becca is much younger and up on the music. Our banter back and forth is a delight and we have so much fun on stage together. A sense of humor us very important for people who come to see us.”
Audiences will hear a medley of most annoying songs of all time, the TV theme song medley, the ‘80s medley and the James Bond theme song medley, as well as others, he said. Kaufman will also have some serious ballads in the mix as well.
“They should expect to hear some great music and have a lot of fun,” he said. “There’s a reason why we’re called The Trailer Park of Cabaret. We’re a guilty pleasure. You’ve never probably heard some of these things performed in a cabaret setting, and we want you to have a great time. Expect to laugh and hear great music.”