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to Section One | to Arts & Entertainment
posted Friday, July 4 2014 - Volume 42 Issue 27
Cabaret artist Victor Janusz tells 'Obama tales' and reveals his own '(Nordstrom) Mannequin Blues' in HANDS SOLO: Pianoman
Arts & Entertainment
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Cabaret artist Victor Janusz tells 'Obama tales' and reveals his own '(Nordstrom) Mannequin Blues' in HANDS SOLO: Pianoman

HANDS SOLO: PIANOMAN
VICTOR JANUSZ
ACT'S CENTRAL HEATING LAB
ACT THEATRE
July 10-12 & 18-20


'Accompanying himself with a soulful, jazz hand...Janusz takes us on a vivid journey, and proves to be a masterful monologist, abetted by Lori Larsen's deft pacing.' - Cabaret Scenes magazine

Longtime Seattle Cabaret artist Victor Janusz is opening up and telling his own hilarious and heartfelt story the best way he knows how: through song. This new one-man show includes many familiar songs, five original pieces by Janusz* and a dozen stories with corresponding music. In HANDS SOLO: Pianoman, Janusz recounts his life at the keys in hilarious detail and shares the tale of his 'partnership with the piano' from age 8 to the present day. Learn of how he was fired by his piano teacher at age 8 ('Without A Song'); hear what it was like to be sexually confused in L.A. in the '70s ('Deacon Blues'); and what NYC 'Method Acting' is really like. Wonder about his surreal nine-year stint at Nordstrom playing for mannequins ('Mannequin Blues'); marvel at his Mexican epiphany with the patron saint ('Guadalupe'). Ruminate with him over the 20 year wait for Marriage Equality ('Wouldn't It Be Nice?'); and revel in the tale of his 'command-performance' for then-Presidential Candidate Obama ('Living In A Blue State ') where he exchanges business cards with the future President and causes a nervous breakdown among his Secret Service detail.

Victor explains: 'This show came out of my need to explain who the often overlooked pianoman really is. I want people to realize that the guy or gal behind the piano is investing their lifetime of relationships and stories into each song they play. My initial impulse and need to create this show came out of hundreds and hundreds of hours playing piano in swanky lounge towers with sweeping vistas and seedy, underground windowless clubs. No matter what the venue, I have learned that I can only publicly play songs that have really landed with me.'

Lori Larsen (last seen at ACT as a performer in Other Desert Cities) has served as director and dramaturg for HANDS SOLO: Pianoman in all its incarnations. It has been workshopped at Yale University's International Cabaret Conference (2008), had its world premiere at NYC's The Duplex (2010) and had a very successful engagement at the Arthur Newman Theatre in Palm Springs (2012). The six performances at ACT's Central Heating Lab have been in the works for over two years and Victor Janusz is thrilled to finally perform to a hometown crowd.

Tickets are $25 and are on sale now through ACTTheatre at acttheatre.org or (206) 292-7676. The show runs Thursday-Saturday, July 10-12 at 7:30 p.m. and Friday-Sunday, July 18-20 at 7:30 p.m. at ACT Theatre's Bullitt Cabaret, 700 Union St. All shows are performed without an intermission and are 85 minutes in length.

About Victor Janusz
In 1998 Victor Janusz took his strong background in American theatre right to the Seattle Sheraton Towers for a nightly 6-month run as a pianist. He formed a trio and immediately booked venues from the historic Showbox Theatre to The Paramount lobby lounge He has worked non-stop ever since. His many cabaret hits include the popular Phoenicia & Vic shows with Wade Madsen and Pinkaboo! which enjoyed a month-long run at Seattle's ACT Theatre in 2008. He has accompanied and sung alongside singers as diverse as jazz great Greta Matassa, Sarah Rudinoff, and 'El Vez.' As one of the Northwest's most in-demand pianomen (both a frontman and soloist), Janusz has: headlined (with the VJ Combo) at Canlis for six New Year's Eve Galas, dazzled at the Fairmont Hotel, and has kept hungry brunch-goers happy for ten years at Salty's On Alki. In 2008 Victor was selected from a nationwide audition to attend the 6th Annual Cabaret Conference at Yale University. He studied and performed for 10 days with masters of the art form, including Julie Wilson, Jason Graae, and Laurel Masse of 'Manhattan Transfer.' His recordings include the instrumental Hands Solo (2002) and Cosmo Street (2005). He is currently completing a new album with an expected release date of July 2014.

About The Central Heating Lab
Launched in 2007, The Central Heating Lab at ACT serves as an incubator and catalyst for new works. ACT cultivates, produces, and presents artists working in all performance genres and provides an artistic home for a variety of local performance groups and artists. Relationships develop daily with individual actors, performers and playwrights while established partnerships with groups such as the Azeotrope, The Seagull Project, 14/48, and Icicle Creek Theatre Festival grow and develop. New programs are added throughout the year. With year-round programming produced by The Central Heating Lab at ACT alongside ACT's Mainstage plays, ACT offers its patrons a unique opportunity to maximize their theatre experience - the ACTPass: all you can see for only $30 per month. ACTPass Members can attend nearly all ACT produced performances.

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