FRAMINGHAM – Laughter bounced off of the walls of Fireseed Arts as the spirit of Robin Williams came to life last night in Saxonville.
The February 3 event, entitled “The Spirit of Robin Williams” was performed by comedian and impressionist Roger Kabler. Framingham was the first stop on his 25-city tour. Other stops on the three-month tour will include Las Vegas and Los Angeles.
“I felt lost,” said Kabler of when Williams passed away, “I identified with him.”
Kabler first performed his Robin Williams impression at Bella Costa in Framingham a couple of years ago. He recalled that one time, while performing a Mork and Mindy bit, a woman came up to him and said, “I felt Robin.”
For the impressionist, the performance is not just about looking like Williams. It is about learning how to act like him, to think like him, and that is not small feat.
Kabler shared that he has also worked to get into as best shape as possible, as these performances require large amounts of energy.
Such was evident last night, as Kabler danced around the stage and moved all over the place, truly devoted to doing Williams justice. His voice, his appearance, his jokes and his energy magically turned him into Robin Williams for the night.
Impressions ranged from Mrs. Doubtfire to the Genie from Aladdin. Like Williams, Kabler never stopped going.
He ended his performance on a serious note, channeling a deeper side of Williams. He made clear that his body was simply a vessel for Robin Williams’ spirit to come back down, and that he was grateful others were able to share in the experience.
“I love you,” Kabler said to the audience, walking out of the room dressed as Williams.
Newly-inaugurated Mayor Yvonne Spicer was the one who introduced the event.
“This marries two things that are really near and dear to my heart,” Spicer said, as the event incorporated both the arts and support of a local cause. Part of the proceeds from the show will go to Daniel’s Table and American Disaster Relief Org.
Kabler, who grew up in Framingham, chose these two organizations to help the homeless people not only across the nation, but specifically in Framingham as well.
“One in eight people go to bed hungry in America, and that’s unacceptable to me,” Spicer said, “And I thank Daniel’s table for their hard work in eradicating hunger in our community.”
Spicer, who grew up in Brooklyn, shared an anecdote about her mother, Dorothy, sharing what they had with the less fortunate.
“I know what it’s like not to have a meal, but I also know what it’s like to share a meal, because oftentimes, sitting at our table, were children that were not a part of our family.”
Daniel’s Table was founded four years ago by Alicia and David Blais, owners of Foodie Cafe in Framingham.
Over the past four years, the cause has from a s6-by-8 foot trailer that they took into neighborhoods to serve meals to a 6,500 square foot building that was the city’s old registry.
Daniel’s Table started out serving 200 + meals a month with their small trailer.
Today, they serve 9,700-plus meals each month.
“We have not stopped, really, one day, trying to reach that goal of solving hunger in Framingham,” Blais said at Saturday’s event. “I truly believe that, over the past year, and in the next year, we’re going to be this close [to solving hunger in the city].”
Kabler chose these two organizations, because he believes that “Robin would have something to do for the homeless.”
“I’m not interested in fame,” Kabler said, “I just love Robin.”