With lively songs and dances from Broadway shows and hilarious sketches from TV's "Saturday Night Live," Westfield High presents its
"Back to Broadway Cabaret." It's a benefit for Westfield's theater boosters to fund scholarships, shows, costumes, props and other theater expenses.
SOME 40 STUDENTS are in this show slated for Saturday, April 1, at 8 p.m. in the school theater; tickets are $5. Seniors Barry Armbruster and Kevin Manship are co-directing with parent/sponsor Lori Knickerbocker.
"It's a chance for theater students to show off their talents outside of class and the main stage," explained Manship, the vocal director. Armbruster helped with the auditioning process and is advising performers how to improve their acts.
"It's presented in a cabaret format — act after act on stage, with the audience seated on stage with the actors," he said. "It's a raw and casual atmosphere." And each number or vignette will only be three or four minutes long.
Westfield theater directors Scott Pafumi and Ashley Dillard will join other performing arts teachers in participating in the show, and Manship's dad Charlie will play piano. It also gives underclassmen an opportunity to perform.
THERE'LL BE a salute to famed choreographer Bob Fosse, with dance numbers from his Broadway shows, including "Sweet Charity" and the musical, "Fosse." Among the dancers will be Brittany Martin, Adrienne Ginter, Megan Quinn and Heather McElwain.
Singers will perform in 15 different acts, belting out songs such as "Age of Aquarius" and the title tune from "Hair," "Seasons of Love" from "Rent," "Officer Krumpke" from "West Side Story," and "Pinball Wizard" from "Tommy."
Branson Reese will sing "Hand for the Hog," about a pig, from the musical "Big River." And Manship, Armbruster, Cheryl Cordingley, Will Quinn, Brian Randall, Garrett Henson, Dallas Sweezy and brothers Ben and Branson Reese will all perform in the number, "Keep It Gay," from "The Producers."
Also appearing in the cabaret will be Stephen Hatch, Ashley Dillard and Courtney Knickerbocker. Several sketches from "Saturday Night Live" are also on tap, including Will Quinn's recreation of Steve Martin's "King Tut" song.
Sarah McNicholas and Jonathan Goldsmith are doing a scene from "My Fair Lady." And Pafumi, who's the faculty liaison for the cabaret, will join a group of boys to perform an original song, "Cowboy's Lament," about what it was like to act in Westfield's one-act play, "Cowboys #2."
All in all, said Lori Knickerbocker, "It's a lighthearted, upbeat-tempo show. It's also a good opportunity to have a really nice time, laugh a lot and have a Broadway experience."