Cabaret Tradition Lives Up To ‘Movies’

by Rachel Williams
Staff

I want to start out by congratulating all of the Cabaret performers on their production this past weekend. I know a lot of time and energy went into these performances, and let me tell you, it was time well-spent. The show was a resounding success.

This year’s theme was “A Night at the Movies.” I’ll be honest: I had never heard of about 1/3 of those movies before I went to the show on Friday night. In some cases, I had heard of the movie but didn’t recognize the song. Or, as in the case of the Transylvania Singers’ rendition of “Edelweiss” from “The Sound of Music,” I knew the song but sadly had never seen the movie.

Some of the renditions made me want to go see the movie from which the song hailed. For example, I’ve never seen “Newsies,” but I am intrigued after seeing and hearing the Pioneer Voices’ lovely version of “Seize the Day.” The song was cute, as was the choreography, so naturally I assume the movie must be, too.

The Transylvania Choir’s rendition of “Eye of the Tiger” was thrilling, entertaining and frightening all at once. One of my favorite things about performances in Carrick is the ability to have surround sound. For example, the “Eye of the Tiger” intro started playing and it seemed that the choir members came out of nowhere. Next thing I knew, a bunch of singing people in sweatbands were walking down the aisle next to me. It was a little disconcerting, but amusing and playful at the same time.

I appreciate the fact that everything was tastefully done. “All that Jazz” from “Chicago,” for example, could have been much more risqué than it was. Kudos to those performers; thanks for keeping it family-friendly.

There were some acts, though, during which I wish I could have heard the singer better. I understand that choreography is important, too, but I thought it was unfortunate that in some cases I couldn’t hear the lovely voices of the soloists. In “A Little Priest” from “Sweeney Todd,” for example, I loved the song and the dancing added a lot to the scene, but sadly I could only hear about half of the words, especially once the audience started understanding the jokes.

During intermission when the house band started playing, most everyone in the audience stopped talking and listened and/or sang along with the band. Usually intermission is the time when audience members discuss what they heard in the first half and giggle with anticipation for what will come in the second half. But in this case, all attention was on the members of the house band because they were just that awesome.

Whether taking us back to childhood memories with ’90s hits like “Can you Feel the Love Tonight” from “The Lion King” or reminding us of recent chart toppers like “That’s How you Know” from Disney’s “Enchanted,” “A Night at the Movies” was a wonderful success.

All in all, it was one of those “feel-good” experiences. After Cabaret, I left Mitchell Fine Arts Center relaxed and refreshed. I can’t wait to see what next year’s Cabaret brings.

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