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Cuse Cabaret

New show ‘Cuse Cabaret with comedy songs about Syracuse coming downtown

The brand-new musical comedy review ‘Cuse Cabaret will have a weekend of performances on Oct. 6, 7, and 8 at CNY Jazz Central in downtown Syracuse.

Poking affectionate fun at everything from Dinosaur BBQ and Destiny USA to the Cardiff Giant, ‘Cuse Cabaret spins popular songs from Broadway, Motown, folk, jazz, and more into cheeky parodies of life in Salt City.

“When I first heard the lyrics to this show, I couldn’t stop laughing,” says Novis Fuller, singer and actor. “I can’t wait to sing about some of my favorite local establishments. This show blends the ridiculous with the familiar.”

Director Derek Emerson Powell adds: “I can’t wait for audiences to hear all about Syracuse’s local legends, fan favorites, and weird little quirks. Syracuse needs to laugh at itself once in a while and this is the perfect opportunity.”

Playwright, award-winning journalist, and founder of the Goldring Arts Journalism program at Syracuse University Johanna Beale Keller and SAMMY award-winning jazz vocalist and songwriter Hanna Richardson co-wrote lyrics for the collection of parody songs about the city they both love, which they endearingly call “the town with a big ice chip on its shoulder.”

“I’ve lived in other places, and I can tell you, Syracuse is a town full of creative people doing amazing work. I love it here,” says Johanna Beale Keller, co-lyricist. “Hanna and I have written parody songs about the joys and frustrations of living here – the snow, Wegmans, Jim Boeheim, Armory Square, the snow, the Dome, salted roads, the snow, all the things that make Syracuse what it is. It will be a fun time. People are going to laugh.”

Hanna Richardson adds: “When Johanna first contacted me about the possibility of co-writing a show of parody songs, my head almost exploded, because this is what my brain does all day, but just in little snippets. I think those Mad Magazine song parodies from my youth were a bigger influence than I realized! It was such a treat to work with her on completing full parody songs – so much laughter.”

‘Cuse Cabaret features local performers Novis Fuller (ComedySportz Worldwide), Evelyn Oliver (Redhouse Arts Center, Building Company Theater), Donovan Stanfield (Syracuse Stage, Building Company Theater), and Natasia White (CNY Playhouse, Honey for the Bees band); is directed by Derek Emerson Powell (Syracuse Stage, Building Company Theater) with Ben Borenstein (Redhouse Arts Center, Thanasis Theatre Company) at the keyboard.

‘Cuse Cabaret Schedule

All performances are at CNY Jazz Central, 444 E. Washington St. in Syracuse and include a cash bar. Tickets are $25 and available at

Friday, Oct. 6, at 7:30 p.m.

Saturday, Oct. 7, at 7:30 p.m.

Sunday, Oct. 8, at 2 p.m.

CAST PHOTO CREDIT:, from left, Evelyn Oliver, Donovan Stanfield, Novis Fuller, and Natasia White

CREATIVE PHOTO CREDIT:, counterclockwise from top left: Ben Borenstein, Derek Emerson Powell, Johanna Beale Keller, and Hanna Richardson