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BEHIND THE SCENES / Orange County

That New Song-and-Dance

January 08, 1998

Quick, try to remember all that you did New Year's Eve. What, not as memorable as you'd hoped?

Maybe you should have joined the cabaret revival at the Summit House Restaurant in Fullerton. Almost 200 people enjoyed about 10 performers as cabaret-style entertainment was brought back into Orange County.

Producer Doug Simao of Yorba Linda is behind all this. Last year he attended a cabaret convention in San Francisco, and he just couldn't shake it.

"Cabaret is very connected entertainment," he says. "I grew up in Hawaii, and lots of the lounge acts were in small rooms and you got to know the artist.

"It was really personable. There wasn't a single performer whom you'd walk away from and say, 'I'm sorry I saw that.' Each one made a connection. I couldn't find anything like that in O.C."

Deciding that O.C. needed some of the same, Simao has booked six shows over the next four months at the Summit House. He has also launched a Web site (http: //www.cabaret.org) as a free source to artists and venues that support cabaret, and he has started a high school outreach program.

"Performer Kate Peters is working on Teen Cabaret, a pilot program with Fullerton High School," he says. "The teens are given a theme . . . and they have to put together an act based on that theme."

For information, visit the Web site or call (714) 449-1998.

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