Musical theatre ensemble course shares music with cabaret

By Emma Russell
Student Life Editor

The Department of Music presented a cabaret featuring performers from the musical theatre ensemble course.

The cabaret occurred on Tuesday, Nov. 30 at 6:30 p.m. in Hotchkiss Recital Hall located in the Daniel Z. Gibson Center for the Arts.

Visiting Assistant Professor of Music Ernest Green directed and hosted the event with Lecturer in Music Carolene Winter accompanying on piano.

The performance started with senior Michael Nichols and junior Dylan Snow singing “Found/Tonight.” The song is a mashup of  “The Story of Tonight” and “You Will Be Found” from “Hamilton” and “Dear Evan Hansen” respectively. The song was originally performed by “Hamilton” creator and lead actor Lin-Manuel Miranda and lead “Dear Evan Hansen” actor Ben Platt to raise money for the 2018 March for Our Lives initiative.

Nichols sang Miranda’s part of the duet and said this was a song he has wanted to tackle since his freshman year.

“Most of my music repertoire has been solo but I like the opportunity to sing a duet,” Nichols said.

Next was senior Maggie Poppiti with her rendition of “I’ll be Here,” from the musical “Ordinary Days.”

Students didn’t just sing musical tunes; junior Lexi Meola sang Adele’s “Chasing Pavements,” and sophomore Grace Apostol sang Etta James’ “At Last.”

Both Meola and Apostol said this is the first time they have participated in the cabaret, and the same can be said for all of the sophomore and junior performers.

Apostol is a sophomore, so her first year at Washington College was completely virtual and many events, such as the cabaret, were canceled.

In the spring semester of 2020, Meola played the role of the Acid Queen in the rock opera “Tommy,” based on the album by The Who of the same name, and she was looking forward to cooling down by participating in the cabaret.

However, it was canceled when students were told to remain home after the initial outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Meola was inspired to sing an Adele tune due to the release of her new album, “30,” but chose an older tune because she loves Adele’s first album, “19.”

“At Last” is a classic jazz number and was the perfect piece for Apostol, who was trained in jazz for two years.

Apostol said that cabaret is “a nice little thing to do before break,” due to the “lowkey” rehearsal process.

Nichols mirrored Apostol’s sentiments and said, “It’s like stress relief, it feels really nice to do whatever we want to do. We just brought a song, got up with Carolene, and sang our hearts out.”

In sharp contrast to the deep tones of Apostol, sophomore Delaney Runge’s light voice delivered the dreamy quality of “Times are Hard for Dreamers” from the musical “Amélie,” based on the popular French film of the same name.

Next was senior Meagan Jenkins, who sang the titular piece from the Andrew Lloyd Webber musical “Love Never Dies,” the lesser known sequel to the popular “Phantom of the Opera.”

The popular Disney stage musical “Newsies” made an appearance when sophomore Kayla Thornton performed “Watch What Happens.”

To bring the night to a close, Poppiti came back on stage to perform “The Wizard and I” from the popular Broadway musical, “Wicked.”

Green expressed admiration for all the hard work the performers put into the cabaret and even tried to convince some audience goers to come on stage to sing a tune, but nobody was brave enough to take the bait.

“Every day we’re here, doing exactly what you’re seeing right here. We sing for each other and the idea is by doing this we develop skills to help us perform that also gives us an opportunity to see things we might have otherwise missed, different musicals, different songs, things like that. And tonight, I think you’ve had a chance to hear some shows you might not have known before,” Green said.

Sophomore Grace Apostol hops on stage to sing the Etta James classic “At Last” in her first cabaret.

Photos by Emma Russell
Featured Photo Caption: Junior Dylan Snow (left) and senior Michael Nichols (right) performing the musical mashup duet “Found/Tonight.”

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