UNH Theater Program Presents Musical Theater Cabaret

Isaak Kifle

The rapidly growing theater department at the University of New Haven has begun to put together multiple productions for each semester rather than a single production, as was the case in the past. While the department will have their major fall play, Arcadia, in November, the UNH community was given a little present before that in the form of the Musical Theater Cabaret.

This play, featuring a host of phenomenally talented UNH students, consists of several musical selections from various famous plays, but with a twist. The play doubled as a desert course at a restaurant, and attendees had the opportunity to select among several different desert options to enjoy, along with coffee and tea, while watching the performances. Everyone was served by the students in the production, who alternated between serving food and singing on stage. The desert options included chocolate cake, a fruit and cheese platter, apple pie and double chocolate cookies with white chocolate chips.

In preparation for the two Cabaret performances, the Alumni Lounge was transformed into a dazzling stage overlooking a room full of tables by candlelight. Everything about the room, including the red lighting and red tablecloths, contributed to the warm atmosphere and made the night that much better. Two performances took place, the first on Friday, Oct. 19, and the second the following day on Saturday, Oct. 20, both beginning at 8 p.m.

The Cabaret began with a performance of “Wilkommen” (Welcome) from the 1966 Broadway production Cabaret. This was followed by three selections from the 1991 Stephen Schwartz production Children of Eden: “Spark of Creation,” “In Whatever Time We Have” and “Stranger in the Rain”. “A Little Fall of Rain” from Les Miserables, “Notice Me, Horton” from Seussical and “Your Daddy’s Son” from Ragtime were then performed and proceeded with two selections from the production Chess: “I Know Him So Well” and “Where I Want to Be”. Next in the program was “I’m the Greatest Star” from Funny Girl, “Something Better Than This” from Sweet Charity and two selections from Secret Garden: “Lily’s Eyes” and “Winter’s on the Wing”.

Performances of “Every Day a Little Death” from A Little Night Music, “You and Me (But Mostly Me)” from recent Broadway hit The Book of Mormon and “Colors of Paradise” from Spitfire Grill followed next. The Cabaret concluded with two selections from Triumph of Love: “Anything” and “Teach Me Not to Love You”.

The performers and servers for the Cabaret were Mackenzie Lasher, Leann Boisvert, Samantha Bowers, Audra Clyburn, Melissa DeChello, Jessica Imperato, Chelsea Kopera, Amanda Ramores, David Ransbottom, Amanda Schumacher, Taylor Schwieger, Stephen Shepherd, Zachary Smith-Grabko and Keith Watford. Heather Reba, the director of the theater program, served as piano accompanist. In addition, the production team included Chris Reba, Matt Boyle, Carolyn Beck, Heather Konish, Caty Reid, Erika Vargas, Kevin Hill, David Janovsky, Dan O’Brian and Elizabeth Vega. The performances were incredible and ranged from the comedic to the tragic and everything in between. A huge thank you is extended to the performances, crew and everyone else that helped to make the Musical Theater Cabaret such an incredible experience to watch!