Last year, Joshua Warr ’05 brought his first cabaret show, “Sing No Evil” to the Laurie Beechman Theatre at the West Bank Café, Manhattan. He received excellent reviews from industry publications for this piece and, more recently, a nomination for a Manhattan Association of Cabarets and Clubs Award (MAC) in the category for men making their New York City debut. The Watertown Daily Times recently spoke with Warr, and his parents who still live in the area, about the nomination.
“We’re spreading some decadent fun through this story,” Warr is quoted, particularly noting scenes of lust and greed. “They’re not all good. Some of them are very heart-wrenching. … At the end of the show, the character I’ve created is completely torn down and he has to look for the silver lining. There’s a moral to it.”
Warr is a graduate of the Maggie Flanigan Studio and holds a B.A. in French and Francophone Studies with a minor in dance from Hobart College. While at Hobart, he was a member of Koshare and Chimera and received the President’s Public Service Award. Following graduation, he starred as the “villain” personality in TLC’s reality dinner party competition, “Dinner Takes All,” a reality television program consisting of five dinner party hosts, five separate dinner parties, taking place over five consecutive days.
He has danced internationally, in South Korea, and off-Broadway at the American Theatre of Actors. He has worked with choreographer Susan Streater, can be seen in Joonhan Lee’s Columbia MFA film, “Sketchbook” in which he originated the role of David, and was in La MaMa E.T.C.’s “Soul Ascending” directed by George Ferencz.
More about his career and his current show are in the complete article, below.
Watertown Daily Times
Life is a cabaret in NYC for Potsdam native
‘SING NO EVIL’: Joshua Warr nominated for award for singing-dancing club show
Lori Shull • Times Staff Writer • April 8, 2010
POTSDAM – The seven deadly sins might make Joshua S. Warr famous. The Potsdam native acts, dances and sings his way through them all in his one-man cabaret, “Sing No Evil.” And he is one of three performers to be nominated for a Manhattan Association of Cabarets and Clubs Award in the category for men making their New York City debut.
“It’s really exciting. I told my mom and dad the thing I’m most excited about is I have a prefix to my name now – MAC Award nominee,” Mr. Warr said.
Mr. Warr’s show, which opened in November in New York City, follows a young man as he journeys through the seven deadly sins: lust, greed, gluttony, wrath, envy, pride and sloth. Despite dealing with sin and vice, the show omits religion.
“We’re spreading some decadent fun through this story,” Mr. Warr said, especially with scenes of lust and greed. But, he said, “They’re not all good. Some of them are very heart-wrenching. … At the end of the show, the character I’ve created is completely torn down and he has to look for the silver lining. There’s a moral to it.”
Since moving to the city five years ago, Mr. Warr has had roles in various shows, but supporting himself has meant working “survival jobs” in retail and restaurants. “Sing No Evil,” which is composed of 14 songs, is the first show he has developed himself.
“He truly is the starving artist,” said his mother, Kathleen F. Warr, Potsdam. “They wait tables, they take any kind of job just to pay the bills. He lives in a matchbox.”
Mr. Warr, the youngest of three children, moved to New York City to try to make it on Broadway, a dream that, so far, has not panned out. He started working nightclubs and got involved in cabaret shows, which are held in smaller, more intimate theaters. They channel the nightclub acts of the 1960s and are like one-man Broadway shows, he said.
“This is an incredible thing that I think is dying,” Mr. Warr said. “Cabaret is one of those things where people really love what they’re doing.”
For this year’s awards, 92 artists have been nominated across 24 categories, ranging from best jazz vocalist to best host of a variety show, series or open mic performance. The ceremony, in its 24th year, will be May 4.
Though he loves performing on the stage, Mr. Warr grew up playing sports for Potsdam Central School. After graduating in 2001, he went to college and made the move from the hockey rink to the dance studio. He graduated in 2005 from Hobart and William Smith Colleges, Geneva, with a bachelors in French.
“I told my parents I was going to be a lawyer and do international relations and political science,” Mr. Warr said. “All the while, I was taking dance classes and then senior year, I said, ‘No, I’m going to New York.'”
His mother, Kathleen, and father, village Trustee Stephen J. Warr, made the trip to see his show in December with a group of friends and neighbors. They had never seen him sing and dance at the same time before, though they had seen him dance in college performances, Mrs. Warr said.
Mr. Warr is up against two other performers for the male debut category, at least one of whom is more well-known than he, his mother said.
“I don’t really know much about it,” she said. “We’re not in this world, but it’s nice that he’s up for the award. We’ll keep our fingers crossed.”