Life is an an­nual cabaret

Pasatiempo - - Onstage This Week - Michael Wade Simp­son For The New Mex­i­can

Af­ter 10 years of pre­sent­ing a cabaret-style April in Paris show at Vanessie, the creators and per­form­ers of the pro­gram — ac­cor­dion­ist and singer Ron Ro­manovsky and pi­anist and vo­cal­ist Charles Tichenor — con­sid­ered a change in sub­ject. “We thought we could call it ‘April in Santa Fe: 20 Songs About Al­ler­gies,’” Tichenor quipped. “Or ‘ Songs About Pot­holes,’” Ro­manovsky added. In­stead of chang­ing the sub­ject, though, the duo will add some new songs, bring out all the fa­vorites, and once again bring a lit­tle bit of France to Santa Fe for three Sun­day-af­ter­noon per­for­mances this month, beginning Sun­day, April 11.

Meet­ing re­cently with Pasatiempo for crois­sants and cap­puc­cino at Café Paris, where Ro­manovsky plays the ac­cor­dion on week­ends, Tichenor ar­rived late, bear­ing fliers, pro­grams, posters, and CDs of pre­vi­ous April in Paris shows. That gave Ro­manovsky a few min­utes to talk about an­other duo he once be­longed to.

For 20 years, the rollerblad­ing ac­cor­dion­ist was half of the folk-com­edy duo Ro­manovsky & Phillips. “We were the gay Smoth­ers Broth­ers,” he said. “We of­fered gay-iden­ti­fied satire, songs like ‘ What Kind of Self-Re­spect­ing Fag Am I?’ and a song about the pope, the KKK, and the Supreme Court called ‘ Ho­mo­phobes in Robes.’ We were in sync with the times. And then the tour­ing started to get harder, do­ing all the book­ing and man­age­ment got more tir­ing, and things just pe­tered out. I re­ally didn’t know what to do af­ter that.”

Ro­manovsky moved to Santa Fe in 1986. “I’d al­ways wanted to learn how to play the ac­cor­dion,” he said, “and I thought, what could be more lu­cra­tive than to play French mu­sic in Santa Fe?” Ro­manovsky gave a satirist’s smile. “And I don’t do polkas.” He doesn’t do just French reper­toire, ei­ther. His Gypsy band, Wel­come to Bo­hemia, per­forms at Café Paris on April 19.

Asked the ori­gin of his nick­name, “Dadou,” Ro­manovsky said, “In France, no one had ever heard of my first name, ‘ Ron,’ un­til I re­minded them of the song lyric ‘ da doo ron ron.’ So they started call­ing me Dadou, and it stuck.”

April in Paris ac­tu­ally be­gan at a French lan­guage class at Santa Fe Com­mu­nity Col­lege, where Ro­manovsky met Tichenor. “I have a bet­ter ac­cent, but Charles has much bet­ter gram­mar,” Ro­manovsky said. “It was Charles’

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