On February 10, at the Musical Theater Cabaret, audience members gathered at the center of the George Washington Hall’s theater classroom, joined hands, and started singing along to “You’ll Be Back” from the musical, “Hamilton.” Performers showcased acts from a variety of renowned musicals and movies such as “Wicked,” “Heathers,” and “Rapunzel.” Audience member Denzel Dickson ’26 expressed his amazement towards the performance.
“[The show] was so good… I was trying to attempt [the vocals], but I was getting voice cracks. [The performers did so well with] control… I would have been out of breath by the end. It looked so exhausting, and I [thought], ‘woah,’” said Dickinson.
The Musical Theater Cabaret was the first show entirely run by the new producers of the theater department. Producer Ivy Randall ’25, who was in charge of stage-managing, mentioned that the performers’ willingness and confidence in their acts allowed her to figure out how to put the show together.
“Our backstage preparation [was very memorable]… Every performer was so talented and to hear them run through their pieces before the show, how excited they were getting and how they were all working together and cheering each other on was very nice,” said Randall.
In addition to the supportive backstage crew, the audience also served as a highlight for the performers. According to performer Amina Gorman ’26, the audience members’ excitement and encouragement helped the performers gain confidence on stage.
“I liked the reactions I saw in the crowd… I saw a lot of people laugh, or they had shocked faces and eyes. And I think that made me act almost more crazy in my singing and stuff,” said Gorman.
Performer Zora Warren ’23 highlighted how over her time at Andover, the theater similarly highlighted her own enthusiasm for the musical elements of the show, and how, as a Senior, her experience with the theater program became more and more positive. She also highlighted how this performance was the first time she performed her own song.
“Dori and I were also signed up for Musical Theater Cabaret, with this song, and we practiced it, learned everything, and were ready to go. And then, it actually got canceled… So, this year, we were like, ‘no, we actually have to do it.’ So, we signed up and we did it again… You know, as a Senior, every performance is a little more special each time. But also, I haven’t done a Musical Theater Cabaret yet, so this was my first one, so that was extra exciting,” said Warren.
According to audience member Sheila Argueta ’26, in contrast to other cabarets where performances range from improvisation, dance, and singing, this performance particularly focused on musical theater. The wide variety of musical theater acts fostered interaction between the performers and audience members.
“This one was pretty special because it focused on musical theater itself, and musical theater is a very important part of theater itself, and I feel like having something specific for that is just really cool and fun to witness,” said Argueta.
As the show included several self-directed acts, organizing the show did not come without its challenges. Despite the challenges, producer Sebastian Cynn ’24 explained that the performers’ dedication allowed the show to come together successfully. He also encouraged other students who are interested in musical theater to try organizing their own act next year.
“What made it possible to get through the hardship of this being the first show we fully ran, was all of the performers coming in and doing such a wonderful job. Also, we would love for anyone who wants to come try out for an act next year. Because this is really a space where acts develop — we saw people come in a little scared, a little nervous, but by the end, they have a phenomenal act,” said Cynn.
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