The Voice’s Kat Robichaud brings her Misfit Cabaret to Los Angeles

Kat Robichaud's Misfit Cabaret is coming to Los Angeles in August. Photo Credit: Mike Lloyd Photography (https://mikelloydphoto.com/)/Courtesy of Kat Robichaud.
Kat Robichaud's Misfit Cabaret is coming to Los Angeles in August. Photo Credit: Mike Lloyd Photography (https://mikelloydphoto.com/)/Courtesy of Kat Robichaud. /
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Kat Robichaud impressed audiences on The Voice, but you’ll be stunned by what she’s accomplished with Kat Robichaud’s Misfit Cabaret.

You know Kat Robichaud from her appearance on NBC‘s The Voice, but that’s only one aspect of her career. You’ve never seen anything like her current project, Kat Robichaud’s Misfit Cabaret, a mesmerizing live show that showcases a wide variety of performers while telling an intriguing and often wild story.

For the first time ever, Misfit Cabaret is coming to Los Angeles; on Aug. 9 and Aug. 10, they’re bringing their Whimsea production to Dynasty Typewriter at the Hayworth. Tickets are on sale now here, and anyone who loves music, storytelling, or live entertainment will want to check it out. It’s a far cry from reality television.

Hidden Remote connected with Kat Robichaud to talk about how Kat Robichaud’s Misfit Cabaret came to be, some of the stories behind this unique production, and why it’s such a labor of love for her.

Hidden Remote: How was Kat Robichaud’s Misfit Cabaret created?

Kat Robichaud: I moved to San Francisco about five years ago, and I had just put out the Darling Misfits album. People love to say they don’t want TV in SF, so no one had seen The Voice and I didn’t really have much of a leg up.

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I was lucky to find some incredible musicians to play, with but very quickly I realized I wasn’t going to be able to afford to keep playing shows with them when the venue guarantees were next to nothing. So I started just playing with a pianist, and very quickly my rock and roll persona switched over to a cabaret persona.

One night I was playing a speakeasy and Jordan Nathan, now my business partner, was there. She got really excited about what I was doing. It was her idea to produce a show together, and we came up with Misfit Cabaret.

The original idea was it would be a variety show with drag and burlesque and other guest musicians. I would play covers and some of my originals. We did the first show and it was a success. I realized okay if we keep going this way, I need to write new music for each show or I’m going to start falling back on cover music.

After three shows at the speakeasy, we moved to a 400-seat theater in Chinatown. We had two amazing years there and then the theater shut down, as is fairly common in SF. We just completed a year-long residency at Z Space in the mission, and now we’re getting ready to start a year-long residency at The Alcazar in the Theater District. We also expanded the show to Seattle two years ago, and we’re getting ready to take Misfit Cabaret to LA in August!

HR: Is the show in LA going to be the same as the ones in SF?

KR: At this point, we’ve created ten original shows, all with different themes. We’re bringing our nautical themed show, Whimsea, to LA. It’s a musical variety show with live music, drag, burlesque, vaudeville, magic, sometimes puppets, and aerial. We usually hire local artists from the city we’re performing in, but since LA is close enough to SF, the entire original cast from SF wanted to be in our LA show.

We have Eliza Rickman, who is a phenomenal singer/songwriter with ties to the popular podcast Welcome to Night Vale. Frankie Fictitious, our wonderful burlesque performer, just won Miss Exotic World at The Burlesque Hall of Fame in Las Vegas. Carnie Asada, our hilarious drag queen, has a naughty Little Mermaid number that will make you do a spit take.

Shadow Circus Creature Theater, a puppet troupe led by Dave Haaz-Boroque, is the cutest thing ever and also a little naughty. We also have a human blockhead [Charlie Gray/Triste the Clown], and if you don’t know what that is, you’re in for a surprise. Misfit Cabaret has built a community in San Francisco and Seattle. We’re excited to build a new one in LA.

HR: What are some of the Whimsea highlights that people can’t miss?

KR: We do a special homage to David Bowie in the show. I write two songs for each new show that coincide with the theme of the evening. When I was writing for Whimsea, Bowie passed away. I wanted to write a song about him, so I made it work with the nautical theme by setting the song on a beach, looking up at the stars, hoping to see a glimpse of Ziggy dancing in the cosmos.

The other original song for Whimsea is really fun; it’s kind of ridiculous and it’s mostly a true story. James Whitaker Wright was a company promoter in England in the late 1800s. He built an enormous estate in Surrey with three lakes, one of which has an underwater ballroom with a glass dome ceiling. He got caught embezzling money, and immediately following his conviction, he went into the court bathroom and swallowed cyanide, killing himself. That’s the true part.

In the song, I change the story so that he kills himself in the underwater ballroom and takes his wife Anna along with him. It’s f–ked up but a lovely waltz. We have dancers on stage that reenact the whole thing. Both of these songs, “Song for David Bowie” and “The Last Waltz of The Wrights,” are available to stream and download online.

HR: You’re such a talented performer. Do you see more producing like Kat Robichaud’s Misfit Cabaret in your future as well?

KR: I love Misfit Cabaret. It’s a lot of hard work, but it’s also really rewarding. I love being on stage and I love watching our guest performers and the band really express their hearts to the audience. I love watching the audience and seeing their reaction.

I know how hard it is being a performer. I know how hard it is to be successful, and I also know how increasingly hard it is to be a performer in the Bay Area. It’s an honor to have the opportunity to pay artists to come perform in Misfit Cabaret and it makes us really happy to provide a stage for them that’s worthy of their talent.

It’s selfless and selfish. Selfish because obviously, I’m doing it because I love it. But at the same time, we get to help other people along the way. It makes me a more well-rounded performer to see how other people do their thing, how they discipline themselves, how they handle the stage, and how they hold themselves.

HR: Is there anything you’d want to say to those fans from The Voice that haven’t heard of Misfit Cabaret yet?

KR: I think the hardest part is getting someone to come to a show that’s never been. I have so many people say to me that they’ve been trying to get their friends to come to this show for years, that they invite them every time and they never come and they just don’t understand.

I get it. Misfit Cabaret is the most wonderful show, and it’s hard to get people to go to new things that they don’t know much about.

But I love when audience members come up to me and say they’ve been coming for years and every time they come, they manage to bring a new fan and they’re fans for life. I think it’s hard to convince people who have never been to a show that they should go because it’s so much easier to sit at home and watch Netflix and be in your pajamas. But Misfit Cabaret is an experience that you cannot get from TV.

One of my favorite reviews we got for Misfit Cabaret was from The Bay Bridged: “As I left the theater, so many audience members were absolutely buzzing with delight. One woman dressed in a lace-up corset with a frilly skirt turned to her date and said, “I don’t want it to be over.” I know how she felt. It was a wild fantasy ride, and I greedily wanted more.”

I think that’s how most people feel. You get sucked into this world where it’s sheer merriment. Everyone’s having so much fun on stage and everybody’s having so much fun in the audience. We pull people on stage at the end of the night for a big dance party for our encore song and everyone gets to dance and be silly.

A lot of our die-hard fans dress up in theme for each show. We hope to see lots of mermaids and pirates at The Hayworth in LA. It’s an immersive experience without having to walk around or be touched by anyone. You can get lost in this world. We’re escapism at its finest, really.

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More on Kat Robichaud’s Misfit Cabaret is available here. For more on The Voice and other NBC shows, follow the NBC category at Hidden Remote.