UNH Theater Club’s Cabaret Leaves Audience Members Dancing in Their Seats

Kaitlin Mahar

At 9 p.m. on a Tuesday night, it can be a little difficult to nearly fill the auditorium in Bucknall Theater. However, the University of New Haven Theater Club, which consists of undergraduate and graduate students, who are both theater majors and non-majors, succeeded in doing just that on Nov. 10 for their Cabaret production.

Zachary Fontenez and Katie McGoff in Caberet (Photo by Samantha Reposa/Charger Bulletin photo)
Zachary Fontenez and Katie McGoff in Caberet
(Photo by Samantha Reposa/Charger Bulletin photo)

Beginning with a moving rendition of Rent’s “Seasons of Love,” the ensemble made a tribute to the club’s graduating seniors, which included Robert Vaccaro, who directed the production together with UNH Theater Club President and fellow senior Amanda Sigan, as well as Bridget Koestner, Katie McGoff, and Stephen Shepherd.

“I loved walking out and singing my heart out,” Sigan said of the number.

The production, which was narrated by graduate student and UNH alum Zachary Grabko ‘15 in a role reminiscent of his portrayal of The Narrator in the theater department’s Fall 2014 production of The Rocky Horror Picture Show, quickly moved right along in a fun, captivating ride that showcased various songs form hit musicals over the years, including American Idiot, The Book of Mormon, and How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying.

“It required a ton of preparation,” said Sigan. “We started rehearsing in late September… There was rehearsal… three to five times a week. Basically, anytime we were free, we were rehearsing. We wanted to put our all into it… So performing in the show was great because I got to see all that come together.”

And the hard work definitely paid off. Sophomores Jared Reynolds and Kate Lutz captivated the entire audience with their performance of “All I Ask of You” from The Phantom of the Opera, nearly blowing the roof off of Bucknall with their respective belts and high notes. Meanwhile, McGoff and Zachary Fontanez ’17 stole the show with Sweeney Todd’s rousing, albeit rather dark performance of “A Little Priest,” complete with the titular Todd’s infamous straight razor.

“That or Amanda Sigan and [freshman] Michael Kennedy’s song, ‘Run Away With Me,’ was my favorite song,” said sophomore Erica Quadvlieg.

Sigan agrees that  “Run Away with Me,” from The Unauthorized Autobiography of Samantha Brown, was also her favorite number in the show.

“The combination of singing and dancing [by graduate student and UNH alum David Janovsky ’15 and freshman Alexandra Erdman] in the background just made that a performance moment I’ll probably never forget. It was really special.”

As far as being a senior, as well as one of the club’s co-founders, Sigan said the experience was bittersweet. “I just want to leave behind something that I would be proud of, something that could engage a lot of people and be beneficial to not only students who enjoy performing, but also our campus.”

If you happened to miss Cabaret, however, don’t worry – Sigan assures students that there will be another during the spring semester. If you’re interested in auditioning, or just checking it out with your friends, be sure to keep an eye on your email for more information.