The stage of Alumni Hall was full of the sounds of Broadway last Friday night while raising money for a good cause.
On Dec. 1, the Chappell Players Theater Group at St. John’s University held its second annual Cabaret for charity.
All of the proceeds including ticket and food sales, as well as other donations, will be used to support St. John’s Bread and Life Adopt-a-Family Program. This charity assists in making holidays for those less fortunate a little brighter by providing a holiday meal as well as toys.
“Friday night was such a really, truly wonderful night,” said Paula Migliore, a campus minister. “It was great to see our students taking an active role in helping make Christmas special for others”
“It’s a great charity,” said performer Don Gormanly Jr.
Rehearsals for the Cabaret started in November, with 8 to 10 rehearsal dates being held.
This year’s theme was “Heart and Music,” and was created by director, writer and producer Jessica Rose Nacinovich. Throughout the show, the lives of four couples were illustrated using various songs from different shows and with some added narration. The songs included selections such as “Sixteen Going on Seventeen” from “The Sound of Music,” “And They’re Off” from “A New Brain, and from “Rent” “I’ll Cover You,” and “On the Street Where You Live” from “My Fair Lady.” These were just a few of the 21 selections.
“I thought it would be a lot more entertaining if you had a little story line to go along with it,” Nacinovich said.
The sets were not elaborate, which William Cusick, a performer in the Cabaret, said was in keeping with the idea of the Cabaret.
“The minimalism feel of it worked well and kept the whole Cabaret style,” Cusick said.
Because of her efforts for the show, Nacinovich received a plaque thanking her for her hard work and dedication.
“I didn’t even have a face or word that could express what I was feeling at that time,” she said.
The show was well attended, with the small lobby packed at 7:30 pm, half an hour before the performance was to begin, all eagerly waiting. It is estimated that between 300 and 350 people attended the show.
“The crowd was great,” Gormanly said. “I couldn’t have asked for a better crowd.”
“I think it went wonderfully,” Cusick said.
“Everyone hit their notes and they sounded great,” said Leeanne G-Bowley, the assistant director and choreographer of the Cabaret. “It was very exciting.”
“I was very happy with the entire cast. They were amazing,” Nacinovich said. “The crew did a great job. I don’t know what I’d do without them.”