Boston Herald
Monday, November 21, 2005
   

This Show Is All Business
By Rochelle Stewart

It’s creative. It’s humorous. It’s even provocative. What is it?
It’s a musical about business.
On Wednesday, Dec. 7, cabaret singers Will McMillan and Bobbi Carrey debut their original show, “In Good Company,” at Scullers Jazz Club.
“We take the subject (of business) and create something provocative,” explained Carrey.
The show, she said, combines the ethical, unethical, greedy and inspiring sides of business.
Carrey knows a thing or two about the business world. A former senior vice president at Fidelity Investments, Carrey runs nowandthen Productions, a company that offers cabaret performances combining social history with popular American song. McMillan is the director of public relations and development for the Cambridge Center for Adult Education.
Carrey and McMillan debuted an earlier version of “In Good Company” at the Kennedy Library in April for Boston College’s Center for Corporate Citizenship annual conference. Carrey said in the first rendition, she and McMillan did not want to single out a specific corporation; therefore, the show generalized business culture.
This time it’s different.
For example, the renovated version features a musical medley of Disney songs, such as “Whistle While You Work” from “Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs” and “It’s a Small World” and “I’ve Got No Strings” from “Pinocchio.”
“There’s a lot going on within the Disney Company,” Carrey said. “The story of (Michael) Eisner recently leaving Disney is just one.”
Carrey said she and McMillan take business stories in the news, combine music and dialogue and “hopefully create something that opens the heart, soul and mind.”
The duo explained that the cabaret is an attempt to help people see how choices made relating to business can affect the economy and the world.
“We want people to come out of the cabaret with hope,” McMillan said.
Carrey describes it as attempting to “make things better before they go wrong.”
Although Carrey and McMillan work full-time in addition to preparing and rehearsing for the cabaret, both performers said the show is always on their minds.
“I’m always thinking of new ideas or memorizing songs,” McMillan said.
Best of all, their job as cabaret performers allows them to combine their love of music with their former and current professional lives. Since they come from different professional backgrounds, McMillan and Carrey said they bring different perspectives to their musical about the business world.
“I have the formidable task of making sense out of the news articles, trying to figure out what happened and what is the theme,” explained McMillan, who is a singer, songwriter and promoter for the cabaret.
Because she worked in the corporate world, Carrey said, “I’ve got the inside, sometimes jaded perspective.”
How do they come up with ideas and songs for the show? They leave it up to fate – or luck, depending on how you look at it.
“I cut up news articles and put them in a bag,” McMillan said. Then he closes his eyes, sticks his hand in the bag and picks an article. Viola: One topic for the show is born.
“It’s a challenge finding the appropriate songs,” Carrey said. “The song might not always be about business, but we contextualize it in a certain way so that it makes sense.”
McMillan and Carrey know it takes hard work to become successful, which is why the two said they are consistently raising the bar for themselves with their cabaret performances.
“Music is powerful to us,” Carrey said. “We dig a little deeper and use songs to communicate. It’s a lot like writing a book.”
Carrey said she and McMillan let their emotions and intuitions lead them. The duo hopes their show will garner a following.
“We’d love to continue to perform the show at libraries, universities and business schools,” Carrey said.
The show features songs by contemporary pop and Broadway composers.
For tickets, call 617-562-4111 or go to www.scullersjazz.com or www.bobbicarrey.com.

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