American Cabaret Theatre’s New Look: The Cabaret at the Connoisseur Room

For current and upcoming performances, visit the American Cabaret Theatre’s website.

ADDENDUM NOTE: The American Cabaret Theatre has once again changed venues, this time to the Columbia Club, a posh residential hotel in Indianapolis. For details about the ACT’s new location and other recent changes, read American Cabaret Theatre Finds a Home at the Columbia Club.

Below is an article about the American Cabaret Theatre while they were performing at their interim locale, the Connoisseur Room.

After 19 years of delighting the Indianapolis community with full-scale productions of both local and national shows, the American Cabaret Theatre decided to recommit themselves to one of the most intimate of performance styles. The ACT felt it was time to turn their collective focus on establishing the art of the Cabaret as a leader among Indianapolis theatre companies and the Indianapolis performing arts. Thus, at the end of January 2009 the ACT unveiled their plans to open and operate the Cabaret at the Connoisseur Room in downtown Indianapolis.

Not only has the ACT changed their format and scaled down the size of the productions they will present, but they have changed addresses as well. For nearly two decades the American Cabaret Theatre was an Indianapolis arts community mainstay in the historic Athenaeum Building, right next door to the Rathskeller Restaurant and the downtown YMCA.  While they no longer are located in the heart of the Indianapolis cultural district of Mass Ave, they have not moved far.

The Cabaret at the Connoisseur Room’s new address is 127 East Ohio Street, between North Delaware Street and North Pennsylvania Street. Even though the new-look Cabaret at the Connoisseur Room is much smaller than the old ACT, it is exactly what a cabaret should look like. With a maximum capacity of just 100 patrons, every member of the audience feels like he or she has the best seat in the house.

As soon as you walk into the Connoisseur Room you feel as though you have stepped back in time, and get the sense that you have just entered a Cole Porter era cabaret. The walls are covered in dark solid wood and the seats all covered in lush red velvet. If you choose not to eat before hand at one of the countless Indianapolis restaurants the Circle City has to offer, fear not;  the Cabaret at the Connoisseur Room has a menu filled with food for two and a bar that is as stocked as it is grand.

The driving force behind the new format the ACT has decided on is in part due to a new board of directors, but also due to the vision of Shannon Forsell. Just around the time that the ACT decided they wanted to go smaller and more intimate, Shannon was named the new managing director of the American Cabaret Theatre.

Forsell was a logical choice for the position, not only for the fact that she had been part of the ACT family as an actress since 1990, but that she is a seasoned cabaret performer herself. Shannon, a born and raised Hoosier, first took to the ACT stage in 1990 and was part of nearly every production the company performed for the next ten years. She then took her show on the road and honed her cabaret skills all over the country before coming back home to Indiana.

The change is size, format and location was a risky proposition for the Cabaret at the Connoisseur Room, but so far it is one that has paid off. Due to the national and local talent that Forsell has been able to entice to Indy, and the irresistible personal connection the Connoisseur Room provides its patrons, a night at the Cabaret is quickly becoming one of our favorite things to do in Indianapolis.

While the American Cabaret Theatre has always been a leader in presenting  the arts in Indianapolis, their new dedication to the specific genre of cabaret just makes the well to draw from deeper. The next time you are looking for something to do, check out the Cabaret at the Connoisseur Room’s website and get your tickets to an unforgettable evening of moving music in Indianapolis.

American Cabaret Theatre
PO Box 44224
Indianapolis, IN 46244

The Cabaret at the Connoisseur Room
127 E Ohio St
Indianapolis, IN 46204

The American Cabaret Theatre now performs at:

The Cabaret at The Columbia Club
121 Monument Circle, Suite 516
Indianapolis, IN 46204


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