Andover’s annual student talent show, Abbot Cabaret (AbbCab), featured performances from 15 different groups, including bands, dancing, and varying individual acts. Hosted by Abbot Cluster Co-Presidents Kate Horton ’22 and Tristan Fain ’22, the production—with showings at 4:00 p.m. and 7:00 p.m.—took place last Saturday in Kemper Auditorium and presented a series of dynamic and unique talents in what Horton describes as a “great show.”
“[It] had copious amounts of friends and family, and everyone was super excited…the energy in the room was just electric. Getting to see how much work the performers put in, how much work Tristan and I put in, how much work our cluster council members put in…I was crying backstage because I was so happy it all came together so well,” said Horton.
While AbbCab was initially supposed to take place on January 29, that weekend’s snowstorm led to the postponement of the show for almost three weeks. This proved a challenge, as it meant that the performers were unable to rehearse in Kemper and had to adjust to the space only a few hours before the actual show.
“We hadn’t been in Kemper or gotten a chance to practice anything for those entire three weeks before the final production. When it was time for rehearsal, we were all a bit stressed, because we hadn’t done it in a while. Remembering what the feel and flow was like was difficult,” said Horton.
Regardless of the rehearsal difficulty, the performers were able to harness the energy of the audience and their support for each other to create a successful show. With a variety of new performers and acts, Horton believes that this year’s AbbCab was able to showcase more of Andover students’ hidden talents and give a vast platform for rising groups to shine and reach a larger audience.
“I think something really great was that we had so many bands, but they all brought something new to the table. Some of the acts we’ve seen perform before and they’re amazing, but most bands that came on stage were bands we hadn’t seen before. Being able to see so many new incredible acts was great,” said Horton.
Lauren Mahoney ’23, a member of one of the AbbCab’s new acts, Rough Draft, also echoed this statement. According to Mahoney, it was incredible to see the variety of musical acts and performers, many of which had not performed live. Mahoney also noted the supportive environment of each of the acts, which led to an encouraging and exciting performance.
“Rough Draft is a newer band on campus, so being able to meet new people with the same interests as you was absolutely fantastic… It’s so awesome to work with kids who are so passionate to produce such a quality performance, and the audience was going crazy. Working with the Abbot Cabaret team was just so fun and so exciting, and it was awesome to play a role,” said Mahoney.
Audience member Russell Robinson ’25 also noted a palpable and excited energy within the audience and throughout the show. According to him, the show brought forth an energy that he had not witnessed before on campus.
“The best part to me was definitely the energy of the crowd. That’s the reason why we go to shows in the first place, to feel the energy of the crowd and interact with people in one atmosphere… overall, it was a[n] impressive production,” said Robinson.
In reflecting on the show, which made its comeback after two years due to the Covid-19 pandemic, Horton reminisced on the production’s changes and her last performance in the Cabaret as a Lower. Thinking of previous performances from her own group, Downbeat, they hoped to honor the legacy of previous members before them during the show.
“[Before our performance], we were all in a circle, and I realized it was only me and Han Chin [Toh ’22], my other co-head, who had performed here before the pandemic. It was just a moment for me to think: ‘Who are the people who came before me? Who were the people I was surrounded by in my Lower year?’…I hope I made them proud,” said Horton.