a cabaret rock opera by Amy Tobin



THE ESTHER SHOW is Amy Tobin’s cabaret rock opera inspired by the biblical Book of Esther. Based on a story usually told for children in honor of the Jewish holiday of Purim, this live music experience is strictly for adults. The Esther Show chronicles the bloated empire and bumbling king of ancient Persia, stirring up bloodlust for imaginary enemies and giving good royal seduction in spite of a really bad wig.

Featuring Kevin Carnes on drums (broun fellinis), Jacob Aginsky on keyboard and electronics (Subnautic), and Bryan Dean on bass (A Band Called Pain), the music slips between cabaret, trip-hop musical theatre, and jazz (a little Queen, a little Laurie Anderson). Amy Tobin’s distinctly naked voice powers through it all, and her modern perspective on this mythical story takes audiences on a blasphemous ride that blurs the boundaries beyond good and evil.


Between 2002 and 2006, the show toured to major U.S. cities and venues including the Knitting Factory NY and Café du Nord, San Francisco.


Amy Tobin has been performing her music for over twenty years in the San Francisco Bay Area, singing in venues ranging from Maritime Hall to Eros Men's Club. She has self-released 4 Choices, a limited edition EP including the songs from The Esther Show, as well as When sparks fly, with the band A Little Friction.


Learn more here.



esther's prologue

esther comes out, haman and seducing the king



"Tobin gets explicit and silly about Esther's sex life—there is a comic tension in The Esther Show between her nice-girl hairdo, reminiscent of Baby in Dirty Dancing , and the knee-boots and leather hot pants down below. More provocative, however, is her acknowledgement that desire can be a powerful tool. Esther uses sex to manipulate King Ahasuerus and save the Jews, and Haman and Ahasuerus harbor secret longings for one another ...


If Purim is the holiday of subversive reversals, then Tobin's version of subversion asks other tough questions ... Tobin also likes to use the clueless and ineffective king to poke fun at political targets—the death penalty, the invasion of Iraq, and this year, the Bush administration. In one refrain she sings of a "Story about the stories we tell," suggesting that Purim is precisely the time to use a critical lens to scrutinize politics."

Ben Wurgaft,


"Hub founder Amy Tobin draws a huge, raucous crowd to her musical retelling of the Purim story every year. Her big voice and sly lyrics introduce sides of Esther, Haman, and the gang that you never saw in Hebrew school. Maybe it's the saucy references to the king's "golden scepter," or maybe it's the cocktails, but this is definitely a night for general impropriety."
- SJL, flavorpill

"Picture a jam-packed North Beach nightclub. On stage, a "Rocky Horror"-style Purimshpiel is under way ... Haman is played as Marlene Dietrich decked out in fishnet stockings and top hat. The crowd, mostly Jewish Gen-Xers, goes wild."
- Dan Pine, J Weekly