Multiple Helen Hayes Award-winner Will Gartshore presented part two of his summer cabaret series entitled Stripped Down, (part one was called Dressed Up) at Round House Theatre’s Over The Line Festival. This after-hours event was filled with comedic and touching moments that all connected to a through line of late night love and lust.
Gartshore performed on a bare stage with just a stool, a microphone, and a piano, played by accompanist Christopher Wingert, in true cabaret style for a night of what he called “a kiki with showtunes.” Their collaborative chemistry was immediately apparent when Gartshore kicked off the evening with a mashup of Hair’s “I Got Life” and The Jungle Book’s “Bare Necessities.” Mashups and quick song transitions were a repeat technique throughout the night which made for great surprises and kept the 16-song set list fresh.
It was great to see twists on showtunes such as “You’re The Top” by Cole Porter and “Billions of Beautiful Boys” by Joseph Thalken and Marshall Barer. I don’t want to give away the whole show, but some of Gartshore’s outstanding moments were his renditions of the heart-wrenching “Nobody Needs to Know” from The Last 5 Years, the brutally honest break-up song “In Short” by Ben Pasek and Justin Paul, and “He Never Did That Before” by Michael Winther sung on top of his co-star, an equity cot.
There is one performance remaining tongiht at 10:30 PM. You won’t want to miss a moment of the wonderful vocal and acting talent that is Will Gartshore.
Running Time: Approximately 50 minutes with no intermission.
Stripped Down’s final performance is tonight at 10:30 pm at Round House Theatre – 8641 Colesville Road, in Silver Spring, MD. For tickets, call (240) 644-1100 or purchase them online.
Read Eric Denver’s review of Will’s Underappreciated & Overexposed at Signature Theater’s ‘Sizzlin’ Summer Cabarets’ series.
[Editor's Note: Don Michael Mendoza is the musical theatre curator and co-host for the LGBT friendly La-Ti-Do cabaret show – Washington, DC’s only weekly musical theatre and spoken word series. Here's more information.]