Rabbot Cabaret: Carriage House, Coconuts, and Congo Drums

The 9:00p.m. performance of Rabbot Cabaret actually starts at 8:30 as droves of people crowd into the miniscule lobby in front of Kemper Auditorium. The 7 o’clock show is still in full swing. The crowd in the lobby swells until moments before 9. People squeeze against to the doors of the Underwood Room. Performers push through the block of bodies, and everyone else gets well acquainted with the shirt on the person in front of them. Finally, the doors open, and everyone is swept along in a huge surge to get in, quickly buying their two-dollar tickets and funneling into Kemper. Spectators line the aisles and walls, stuck in every available space despite the warnings to adhere to fire codes. The stage is as packed as the audience. In front of a backdrop of cymbals, amplifiers, drums, cords, microphones, and a black curtain, the musicians on stage practice jamming as their fellow performers lounge in the wings. A forest of guitar necks clusters in the back of the auditorium as some of the performers snatch seats in the back. As the audience files in, their ears are met by the music of the first band of the evening – Hickory Stick and the Burlap Sacks. The mood is set for a musical night. The temperature rises as Kemper fills with the floatsome and jetsome of the Andover community. The lights dim. The crowd cheers. MC Alex Colaianni ’03 calls up an order of “pot pies” from Ryley and is rewarded by the “hot guys” of Carriage house: Matt Garza ’04, Thatcher Clay ’04, David Morse ’04, Anthony Roldan ’04, and Alex Limpaecher ’04. Absent was Samuel duPont ’04, who was on an S&R trip. This fantastic sextuplet leads the audience through the show with plenty of antics and banter. The MC’s are all here and the show is underway. The first act is Dan Koh (’03) and Co., featuring an energetic lead singer and a harmonica solo. Their number included a surprisingly high ratio of harmonicas, trumped of course by the hoards of guitars that passed over the stage. The show was powered by the sound of music. Alternating between bands, solo guitarist, singers, and the Carriage House shenanigans, it was a tuneful time. Although some may not have desired quite as many musical acts, preferring variety, many of the performers in Rabbot Cabaret were admirable in their talents. The show simmered down when Ariel Gold ’04 performed a guitar solo, the first of many “guitar girls,” who took over the stage often: Gen Desaulniers ’04 next showed off a captivating voice and a phenomenal smile. Ali Rosen ’03 had great stage presence as well as focus on her original song. Abbe Anderson ’03 and Devon Dickerson ’04 weaved harmonies as did Lucy Keating ’03, Anne Snyder ’03, and Liz Vasquez ’03 also harmonized in song with Josh Williams ’03 on guitar and Colaianni on piano accompanying them. The men of Andover did their share of guitar playing as well. Tari Isham ’03 and Tomo McDonell ’04 picked up guitars, voice, and a harmonica in “Hootchy Kootchy Man;” Charles Beaman ’03 joined in on the guitar action as well as did Yuki Watanabe, who performed a Venezuelan piece. The bands battled for attention and volume as they took to the stage. The Metallicas performed “Unforgiving”, an original piece incorporating heavy metal rock- enough to arouse a few people to cover their ears. Tropical Inferno performed the classic “Back in the USSR”, with an energetic singer and his funky green guitar. Ben Heller ’05 and his band entertained with a musical mix up as Rashid Galadanci ’03 played Ben Heller’s trumpet and Heller took on the guitar. Needless to say, they switched back and rocked their song, which was complete with trumpet, harmonica, piano, and conga drums, the latter two also joining in the switching instruments action. The band Steal Your Face (misnamed on the program) played a Chilli Peppers song with the help of their talented singer. The Stowe House Band marked the finale, sending the audience out at the end of the two-hour show with ears ringing. The show was also occasionally punctuated with dancing. Warner Robinson ’04, a whirlwind in red and black, took the stage for a mighty display of kicks and jumps. Pooja Sripad ’04 and Nandini Vijayakumar ’06 took the audience through an exotic Indian dance, full of rhythm and their amazing black, red, yellow, and green costumes. Fan Wang ’04 stole the show as he collected a huge amount of hoots and hollers from an enthused audience. Doing an energetic interpretative dance of a day as an Andover student, he jittered all over the stage and received the only standing ovation of the show. Throughout the entire show, the lovely MC clan performed skits: Carriage House sold it’s soul to corporations, showering the audience with advertising jingles and commercials. Along with Colaianni, the Abbot dorm pulled the show together.