The Second Annual UNH Musical Theater Cabaret

Isaak Kifle

Last year, the University of New Haven theater department, under faculty member Heather Reba put on the first annual UNH Music Theater Cabaret, which consisted of performances by UNH students from various plays and musicals. While Reba, who had been the driving force behind the first Cabaret, has since left the university, a few students were determined to ensure that the event did not fade away as a result.

Two students, Tyler Prigionieri and Melissa Dechello, worked with the Student Committee of Programming Events and a cast of extremely talented students to put on UNH’s second Annual Music Theater Cabaret Friday, Sept. 27 in the Alumni Lounge, as the conclusion of SCOPE’s annual Music Week.

Like the previous year, the Alumni Lounge was transformed in preparation for the event, with a stage overlooking an array of tables glowing by candlelight.

The doors to the Alumni Lounge opened shortly before 8 p.m., and soon after, the audience was treated to the show’s two MCs, who opened each performance with lines that had the audience laughing every time.

The performances themselves included selections from many well-known and timeless plays, some of which continued to have the audience in stiches, and others which successfully invoked the tragedy of the original performance. A few of the selections included the “Cell Block Tango,” and “When You’re Good to Mama,” from the play Chicago, “For Good” and “As Long as You’re Mine” from Wicked, “Sirens” from Jane Eyre, “Those Canaan Days” from Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat and “Make Him Mine” from the film Witches of Eastwick.

In total, there were about twenty musical pieces and even a song during intermission, while the audience was treated to desert as well as their choice of coffee or tea, as the cast doubled as servers for the audience.

Cast members included Prigionieri as well as Chelsea Kopera, David Ransbottom, Amanda Ramores, Tyler Dillard, Jennifer Montesanto, Jesse Chen, Stephen Shepherd, Zach Fontanez, Garrett Plue, Helen Schneider, Levi Franlin, Abby Wuestneck, Amanda Sigan and Amanda Schumacher.

Lastly, John Lamb provided the piano accompaniment throughout the show.

After the finale, Prigionieri took a moment to thank SCOPE and everyone who attended, as well as encourage the audience to stay tuned for the third annual cabaret.

Given the incredible performances, there’s no doubt that the cabaret will continue to come back to UNH.