by Amy Smith
When I was a little girl (back in the Pleistocene Age), in the days of black-and-white TV and only four TV channels, there was something called the variety show. Hosted by such luminaries as Ed Sullivan, Sonny and Cher, or David Steinberg, it featured special guest talent performing music, dance, and comedy.
So I was delighted to find, when I attended Aurel’s "OPA! Mediterranean Dinner Show" on May 14, that it was really a variety show with a Middle-Eastern flavor. It had it all - music, dance, and comedy! Held at the Paris Cabaret in Stoughton (MA), where Aurel’s singing career got started (also her waitressing career, but it sounded like it ended there, as well), it was genuinely excellent entertainment from start to finish. Backstopped by the Kokoras Brothers with Mike Gregian, as well as two jazz musicians (sorry, I didn’t get their names), Aurel sang (in Arabic, English, Greek, and Turkish), performed both Oriental dance and Greek folk dance, and MC’d the whole evening, engaging the audience and making us feel like we were part of the show. And the secret sauce - Aurel's excellent comedic sensibility and timing.
Show tickets included a full Greek repast that, based on the comments of my table mates, was absolutely delicious (I’m vegetarian, so I can’t comment on the main menu. However, the Paris Cabaret graciously accommodated me with an equally full and yummy meal). The cabaret itself was cozy without feeling cramped – it looked like everyone in the room had a good view of the stage.
Congratulations to Aurel and her Ancient Art Studio team on a terrific evening!
Aurel and OPA! return to the Paris Cabaret on November 19th. The May show sold out, so to reserve your seats call 781.297.7469. See you there!