Dig Baton Rouge

A cabaret tribute: Ana Gasteyer to play at Manship Theatre

Former Saturday Night Live actress, Ana Gasteyer, is performing at the Manship Theatre on Friday, Feb. 26, at 7:30 p.m. This will be Gasteyer’s first Baton Rouge appearance.
From an early age, Gasteyer had an ear for music and began playing the violin at the age of 5 [years old]. She earned a degree in theatre and performing arts from Northwestern University and joined the legendary improvisational troupe, “The Groundlings,” after college.
“A lot of improvisation can be very masculine and competitive and smart oriented, much more than acting oriented,” said Gasteyer. “I felt like that was the first time I understood that there is a kind of female character sensibility that was more about slice-of-life; more about your funny aunt that people might find interesting.”
Gasteyer is best known for her years on Saturday Night Live, where many of her characters were also singers. Her most notable celebrity impressions include Barbara Streisand, Hillary Clinton, Celine Dion and Martha Stewart. She also created many of her own characters, including Cinder Calhoun; Bobbi Moughan-Culp, a music teacher who performed alongside Will Ferrell’s Marty Culp and Margaret Jo McCullen, the co-host of an NPR radio show.
After Saturday Night Live, Gasteyer switched gears and focused her career toward the stage. She originated the role of Elphaba in Wicked for the production in Chicago as well as on Broadway, which earned her a Joseph Jefferson Award nomination. She also played the role of Columbia in The Rocky Horror Show. In addition to being on the Broadway stage, Gasteyer has had supporting roles in several movies and TV sitcoms including, Mean Girls, What Women Want, The Good Wife, Frasier, NYPD Blue, Law & Order and Seinfeld’s The Soup Nazi.
“In spite of what I did for years as an improviser and on live TV, I really love the slow process of stage work,” said Gasteyer. “There is such an opportunity to improve night after night after night.”
Now, Gasteyer is commanding the stage with her own rendition of a cabaret nightclub.
“This act is an outcropping of me,” said Gasteyer, when asked about her show. “It’s just me singing songs that I love.”
The show is a throwback to the 1950’s supper club. It pays tribute to a time where singers were expected to not only be good singers but could also tell a funny joke. The show will bring audiences back to a time where entertainers truly knew how to entertain an audience.
“I consider this happy jazz or moxie jazz,” said Gasteyer. “This is music from an era where a broad could sit in front of a band and let it rip.”
Gasteyer’s latest project, “I’m Hip,” is a full-length Moxie jazz album released in 2014 and includes an “eclectic range of covers and reimagined classics.” Some of those songs from the album include, “One Mint Julip,” “The Book of Love,” “A Proper Cup of Coffee” and “Defying Gravity.”
The show is set for Friday, Feb. 26 at the Manship Theatre, downtown. Tickets range from $35 to $50 and can be purchased online at manshiptheatre.org


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