The annual Cabaret performance is a time for the Chorus, Singing for Non-Singers class, and the Drama Department to collaborate under a common theme. This year, Cabaret explored the four regions, North, South, East, and West, in America throughout different historical eras. The show included a number of solo songs from Chorus members across all grades of the Upper School.
The show was organized according to the different regions, beginning with a medley from Little Shop of Horrors that featured the North and Midwest. Senior Taylor Jackson performed the Diana Ross classic “Touch Me in the Morning” and Freshman Miranda Renzi gave a beautiful performance of “Colors of the WInd” to further celebrate the Native American roots in the American Midwest.
The next section highlighted a variety of musical cultures that have flourished in the south. These selections ranged from a Jazz medley featuring Caroline Vermillion, Isaiah Hogue, and Olivia McCall to a celebration of the rural south with “The Country’s in the Very Best of Hands” by Singing for Non-Singers and a variety of Chorus members. The final performance for the South was an impressive rendition of “Bess, You is my Woman” from the Southern opera Porgy and Bess. The entire student body became more familiar with Porgy after professional opera singer Victor Ryan Robertson spoke at school about his role in the upcoming production of the show. Sam Lynagh and Josh Rogers performed the extremely challenging piece in Cabaret wonderfully.
Following the celebration of the South came performances that highlighted the East. This section focused exclusively on New York City, but still offered a wealth of talented performances by Christ Church students. The highlight of this section was the medley from the musical West Side Story. The Singing for Non-Singers had a spirited and exciting performance of “Jet Song,” followed by “America,” featuring female chorus members. “America” was about a feud between two Puerto Rican immigrants about the balance between embracing their new culture and remembering where they came from. Maggie Hamberis and Ellie Williams were delightful as the two dueling women, and the rest of the energetic performers brought the song to life. The final West Wide Story number was “Gee, Officer Krupke” which highlighted the voices of many male singers.
The rest of the celebration of New York featured solo performances by numerous Chorus members. Maggie Ramirez performed the classic song, “Broadway Baby” and Olivia McCall expressed the frustrations of a girl living in a big city with “Another Hundred People.” Andre Batchelder-Schwab brought life to the Barry Manilow song, “Weekend in New England,” while Ben Kirby gave a crowd-pleasing rendition of “New York, New York.”
The final set of songs were set in the West, yet it just had a focus on California. These songs included numbers from the Beach Boys, and an elaborate performance of “Grand Avenue.” This began with a solo by Freshman Marisa McGrady alongside the night’s master of ceremonies, Jack Evans. “Grand Avenue” featured the whole company with a parade celebrating Asian culture. The entire company was involved in this parade, but the Singing for Non-Singers stole the show with a human line forming a long dragon.
Overall, this year’s Cabaret was a great success. Brown Mattox and Amanda Rackley performed in four short skits throughout the show, which were well received. This was also a great display of the enormous musical talent that is present in the Upper School.