This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2011, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.
It's not often that Salt Lake's club scene offers a cabaret show straight out of the '30s Weimar Republic, complete with a herdlike gypsy band, comely acrobats, a juggling unicyclist and belly dancers.
Yes, at first it sounded more than a little hokey, but Friday night's Underground Gypsy Cabaret at the Bar Deluxe was an intimate and sometimes even hands-on experience for the surprisingly small audience that showed up to celebrate the Autumnal Equinox. In short, it was Big Fun in a city short on that commodity.
Because the stage was jammed with 15 or more Eastern Bloc-gypsy-punk-chic musicians of Juana Ghani, wailing on everything from a mandolin to a hurdy gurdy to a bass drumthe dancers, acrobats and even a silvery clad burlesque queen were delighted to perform amid the audience on the floor below. Rubbing elbows with the folks, so to speak.
Before the night was over, it was difficult to separate the dancing audience from the performers (Even the stiffest lounge lizard can pass as an underground Gypsyjust drink shots of vodka and scream, "Yi, Yi, Yi. Raise your glass!" Then weep morosely over lost love.)
Tony Semerad, mandolinist of Juana Ghani, admits that crowding more than a dozen passionate musicians and singers on stage is pushing the envelope. "It's ridiculous," he says. "We joke about bringing livestock on." (Full disclosure: Semerad is a Salt Lake Tribune employee.)
It happened at Bar Deluxe, 666 S. State St., Salt Lake City. Tickets were $9 and you had to be 21. More details at: http://undergroundcabaret.blogspot.com/