In the last decade, Los Angeles has become the creative epicenter for a new kind of immersive cabaret experience, and in the last five years, this new aesthetic has taken off worldwide. Next Tuesday and Wednesday, April 22 and 23, one of the leading groups in this post-cirque, post-neo-burlesque movement, Zen Arts, will be teaming up with Kerrilee Kaski and Jen Smithwick, two talented artists from Santa Barbara, to create something called When the Lights Go Out at Carr Vineyards & Winery (414 N. Salsipuedes St.). The show is Kaski’s baby — she said it’s something she’s been dreaming about ever since she came here several years ago to produce the entertainment for the burlesque program at The Savoy. While that particular match didn’t pan out, Kaski nevertheless found plenty of other good reasons to stick around our city, and several of them will be participating in When the Lights Go Out.
These loosely connected vignettes will be filled with great music, teeming with acrobats and top-quality professional dancers, and twisted into provocative shape by Kaski and Smithwick, who will act as a mistress of ceremonies and a provocateur. For those of you who were at the recent Direct Relief benefit at the Bacara, the beautiful Zen Arts crew will be a familiar sight. And if you were not, well, perhaps you caught them at Coachella or the Ultra Music Festival in Miami, as those are both events at which they have been main-stage performers. According to Kaski, the show is meant to be a dancer’s dream, into which the audience will be invited. Aerialist Autumn Phillips is in the cast, and choreographer Jason Young, who has worked with Britney Spears and Madonna, will be creating the movement. Set designer Victoria Imperioli plans to give the same careful attention to the seating and the setup for the audience as she does to the set for the performers, and Allen Murray, a top prop designer on such Hollywood hits as Scarface and Alien, will lend his own brand of light and magic to the proceedings. Doors open at 7 and the show begins at 8 p.m. For tickets, go to whenthelightsgooutshow.com.