Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Independence Day Cabaret at Musical Theatre Southwest

The cabaret is fast becoming a regular inclusion in the Musical Theatre Southwest season, with several having appeared on last year's lineup and more scheduled next season also. This past holiday weekend it was cabaret entertainment to be had yet again at the MTS Black Box, where the "Independence Day Cabaret" appeared.

Emcee'd by the director Lee Ramey, the evening was loosely framed on the theme of "Independence," with patriotic and American-themed music numbers lining up the first act, such as audience sing-along favorites for the holiday "America the Beautiful," and "Star Spangled Banner," with accompaniment on piano by Mindy Sampson and guitar by Tim Nuzum.

Telling our country's story, hits from the past appeared next, including Jonathan Gallegos' "Brother, Can You Spare A Dime?," a tap dance solo "Tar Star" performed by Elizabeth Rathburn, and the girls' trio "Boogie Woogie Bugle Boy," featuring Lisette Herrera, Laura Nuzum, and Stephanie Burch. More contemporary numbers, such as Patsy Cline's "Walkin' After Midnight" and the upbeat group medley "Dancin' In The Streets," also appeared in the first act.

By the second act, the cast's songs and dance medleys emphasized stories with a personal sense of independence. Starting with the hippie counterculture in the "Hair" medley, to songs of personal strength and self-identity such as William Dudeck's "My Way," and Robb Sisneros' "I Am What I Am," the stories unfolding in the second half were those of self reliance, as well as the evening's overall theme of independence.

And if there's a familiar face in that cast, you're right! I was also part of the show, singing the solo "I Am Changing" from Dreamgirls, about evolving into a better person. So for this blog, I can personally report how much I enjoyed being a part of the show. There's nothing like sharing the stage with people you love.

For more information about the company, check out their website at .

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