This short and sweet one-hour cabaret returns as part of the larger DIVAfest and is presented in the back room of the old Original Joe's Italian Restaurant down in the Tenderloin. As the title suggests, this evening is all about Bay Area divas and it's hosted by the biggest diva of all, the wonderful Sean Owens. Though the music is composed by a man (the accomplished Don Seaver), the three vocalists are women and the lyricists are women. Unfortunately, the vocalists are a bit stiff and, though they have fine and varied singing voices, they aren't well matched up with their material. An unexpected highlight of the evening is poet Pireeni Sundaralingam of Sri Lanka. With her accent and piano accompaniment, she delivers a mesmerizing performance, playfully borrowing lines from Gone With the Wind
and Bride of Frankenstein.
The true star of the show, though, is first-time lyricist Mia Paschal. Using a broad range of styles, Paschal has no trouble transitioning from a scorching ballad titled You Don't Love Me Yet,
to the finale a fun alphabetical tirade bashing men with lines like "P is for the prick who texted me goodbye." Nathaniel Eaton