Jewel Box Cabaret Presents “Hell on Heels!”

Jewel Box Cabaret practices for their upcoming show. Photo by Charlotte Renken

Jewel Box Cabaret practices for their upcoming show. Photo by Charlotte Renken

With Halloween quickly approaching, the Jewel Box Cabaret is furiously working on “Hell on Heels,” its newest, holiday-themed show. After a summer off the stage, the cast and crew of JBC are excited to pull their wigs and stilettos back on and give Santa Fe one hell of a season opener.

JBC has a line up of numbers it has been rehearsing for the last several weeks. Each performance is Halloween themed with various skits, MC comedy bits and other performances interspersed throughout. One number that SFUAD Enrollment advisor Malcom Morgan—who performs as CoCo Caliente—is especially excited for is his live rendition of “I Put A Spell on You” from the widely popular movie Hocus Pocus.

“I think it’s going to be exciting to get the whole audience involved,” says Morgan on the audience participation planned for the number. Morgan is one of the few performers in the JBC that doesn’t lip sync, giving his performances a special touch.

Malcolm Morgan and Amy Bigen are excited to open up their new season. Photo by Lauren Eubanks

Malcolm Morgan and Amy Bigen are excited to open up their new season. Photo by Lauren Eubanks

Morgan isn’t the only SFUAD representation in the JBC. Alumnus Alu Paul S. Vablez De Polley, ’07, performs as Marie Antoinette Du Barry and Enrollment Advisor Mary Beth takes the stage as Lin Z. Enrollment Advisor Amy Bingen also represents SFUAD as a back up dancer for the troupe.

“I want to especially thank SFUAD for allowing us to use the [Driscoll Fitness Center] every Sunday for our rehearsals,”JBC director and producer Linda K says. “We also utilize SFUAD’s students for our tech and sound and they always do an incredible job.”

Something that sets the JBC apart from any other drag show is the variety of performances. The show isn’t just one lip sync after another with no clear through line. JBC is very carefully laid out with a mix of comedy skits, live music, traditional lip syncing and dazzling group numbers.

Keisha Licious rehearses for "Hell on Heels" show Photo By Charlotte Renken

Keisha Licious rehearses for “Hell on Heels” show Photo By Charlotte Renken

“When I started the Jewel Box Cabaret, I didn’t want it to just be a drag show. We’re not a drag show,” says K, who prefers the term “gender illusion” when it comes to what the JBC does. K is from New York and has an extensive background in musical theater. While she was still living in New York, K loved attending drag shows but found herself wanting more out of the performers. They had the big hair and the elaborate costumes, but K saw a chance to do more with the art of gender illusion. She wanted to make it bigger, better produced and even more theatrical. She later moved to Santa Fe, and not long after JBC was formed. Eight years later, the troupe is still going strong.

“Our shows have been selling out,” says K before releasing some big news regarding the troupe. Starting in 2016, they will be moving to the Skylight Lounge. While the Maria Benitez Cabaret at the Lodge Hotel has been home for them for a while now, their growth in audience called for a larger venue. Further, with Skylight Lounge closer proximity to the Plaza, K hopes they will attract a younger audience.

“Hell on Heels” will also be hosting a costume contest for audience members with first, second and third place prizes which include free tickets to upcoming JBC performances as well as other exciting treats. The show will open at 8:30 p.m. on Oct. 31. at the Maria Benitez Cabaret at the Lodge Hotel. Tickets are $10 for SFUAD students and $15 for general admission. VIP tickets are also available for $20 by calling 505-428-7781. There will also be a cash bar available in the back of the theater.