Abbot Cabaret Performers Overcome Postponement and Showcase Martial Arts, Erhu, and Rock “Let It Go”

Many students performed at the Abbot Cabaret after a two week postponement.

Many students performed at the Abbot Cabaret after a two week postponement.

Many students performed at the Abbot Cabaret after a two week postponement.

Shadows bounced on the walls in a frenzy as Eddie Lou ’24 and Michelle Chen ’24 battled each other with their weapons, dodging and ducking at lightning speed. Suddenly, there was a loud clang, and Lou’s sword flew out of his hands. Unfazed, he clenched his fists and stared straight at his opponent, readying himself for the next attack. 

Lou and Chen’s martial arts performance was one of many acts featured in this year’s Abbot Cabaret. The annual winter talent show was held in Kemper Auditorium last Saturday evening after a two-week postponement. 

MCs EV Heck ’25 and George Stoody ’24 introduced performers and cracked jokes in between different acts. Since they had the chance to watch their peers on stage during dress rehearsal, their script also included aspects of this experience. Heck elaborated on how she interacted with audience members.

“A lot of the time we took their reactions and went along with it. We had a few jokes lined up, and when the audience would laugh at one, we had another one prepared. When the lights turned down in the middle, we brought [a previous joke] up again,” said Heck.

On-campus jazz ensemble Goose and Moose presented their rock rendition of “Let It Go” from the “Frozen” soundtrack, the well-known song hyping up the crowd and inviting people to sing along. Pianist Anny Wang ’26 shared her feelings about the performance, as well as why it was memorable for her.

“The delivery was nice, and… we [did] a lot of build-ups. All of us carried out the things we wanted to do. It was well planned… I loved Claire Wang [’26]’s rap partway through the show. It was great,” said Wang.  

Apart from jazz and rock music ensembles, Abbot Cabaret also showcased a cappella singing groups, an indie pop duo, dancers, and more. Brian Zhu ’26, who played “Birds Singing in Hollow Mountains” on his erhu, described why he found the performance opportunity especially meaningful.

In an email to The Phillipian, Zhu wrote, “The erhu is a versatile instrument; one of its specialties is its ability to mimic different sounds. This song mimics and combines many different birdsongs into a short and fun piece… [My favorite] part of the performance was when I quieted down near the end, tricked the audience into thinking the song had ended, and then kept on playing loudly. Then I shook my head like they’d fallen for a prank and we all had a good laugh.”

The success of the talent show is owed to the hard work of both the performers and the producers and their ability to persevere through unexpected challenges. For example, the amended show date required new rehearsal schedules to be developed. Wang commented on the diligence of Goose and Moose members and their commitment to the show.

“We were dedicated. Our band would wake up early and have rehearsals at 7 a.m. in Graves [Hall] because we couldn’t find any other time we could practice. The preparation process was hard… When you think of ‘Let It Go,’ you [may] think it’s an easy song since [its] composition is simple. However, for a jazz band like us to recreate it, we [had to think] about how to change it, [so] that it’s both different [and recognizable]. [It’s] definitely harder than our last performance at Grasshopper,” said Wang.