“You didn’t really come here to hear opera, so how about something more interesting?” asked Robin Jackson, saxophonist for Vagabond Opera, a unique vaudeville band from Portland making a rare stop at H Street’s Palace of Wonders Thursday night.
Going on seven years together, the five men of the band – joined now by burlesque singing beauty Asha Grzesik – didn’t originally intend to form an eclectic musical phenomenon, but “like minded weirdos can smell their own,” joked bassist Jason Flores.
For one night only, DCists were privy to Vagabond Opera’s cocktail of Bohemian cabaret – both shaken and stirred – accompanied by a playful theatrical performance best described as an “opera duel to the death.”
The audience swayed, sang and shimmied to the band’s infectious energy surrounded by the Palace’s circus curiosities.
“This place could be my new favorite venue,” admitted composer/cellist Skip von Kuske. “We’ll have to come back. It’s just too perfect for us.”