Musical Theatre Club hosts ‘Golden Age Cabaret’ to foster an appreciation for the performing arts


Image courtesy of Musical Theatre Club

Students perform during Musical Theatre Club’s “Golden Age Cabaret” Thursday night.

By Shreya Singh, Senior Staff Writer

The lights dimmed as two performers took to the stage — wearing makeshift crowns on their heads and T-shirts with drawn-on abs — to perform their rendition of the song “Agony” from the Broadway musical “Into the Woods.”  

About 100 students and parents gathered in the Cathedral of Learning’s Understory Thursday night to attend the Musical Theatre Club’s Golden Age Cabaret. The theme was “A Night At the Tonys,” with multiple performances from members of the club such as Patrick Francis, who is a sophomore political science and English literature major. Members served sparkling cider in champagne flutes to the side of the stage. 

Performers paid tribute to famous singers like Liza Minnelli by singing some of her most well-known songs, including “Cabaret” and “Maybe This Time.” Other songs throughout the show included “Holding Out for a Hero” by Bonnie Tyler, “No One is Alone” by Stephen Sondheim for the Broadway musical “Into the Woods,” and “Funny Honey” from Broadway musical “Chicago.” 

Francis, MTC’s secretary and director of the cabaret, said the club started planning the cabaret right after their last one — the “Girl Boss Cabaret” — took place last October.

“It began with a discussion of the theme and then it moved towards more logistical items,” Francis said. “We had to acquire a performance space first, which the Center for Creativity graciously granted us. After that, it was a matter of auditioning and rehearsing. MTC members signed up on a spreadsheet, along with a first and second choice for songs to perform.”

Francis said he loved putting the cabaret together because of his love for classical theater. 

“They’re really great because they’re completely open to club members and they allow folks to sing songs they may not always have the chance to sing in a full production,” Francis said. “I’m a big fan of older, classical musicals from composers like Lerner and Loewe and Stephen Sondheim, which made this cabaret a passion project for me.”

Francis said he hopes the cabaret fosters an appreciation for classical theater among performers and the audience.

“I hope that people who come to see the cabaret enjoy it enough to join the club,” Francis said. “Beyond that, I hope that both performers and audience members can leave with the same appreciation for classical Broadway that I have.”

Olivia Tran-Speros, a first-year human resource management major and performer in the show, said she auditioned because she loves performing for people. Tran-Speros performed her own rendition of “On My Own” from the Broadway musical “Les Miserables.”

“I auditioned for this show because I love any chance to perform,” Tran-Speros said. “I’ve been doing musical theater for as long as I can remember and while not being a musical theater major, I’m still trying to find ways to fill that musical theater gap.”

Tran-Speros said her love for musical theater goes back to when she was a kid. 

“When I was 4 years old, my parents put me in a summer drama camp because I was a lot to deal with,” Tran-Speros said. “Ever since then, I fell in love with the art and haven’t stopped since. There’s an addictive type of feeling when you’re nervous and excited at the same time before and after a performance.”

Tran-Speros added that she likes to give time to herself before the performance to calm her nerves.

“I usually do a couple of vocal warmups, but other than that I’ll listen to a podcast and then just take time for myself,” Tran-Speros said. “I don’t know if I would consider this a ‘good luck’ tradition, but I usually don’t try to look at my lyrics before a performance because I’m scared I would psych myself out and mess up on the words.”

Francis said he was excited to see the flashy outfits people chose to wear and to appreciate the structure of the performances. Performance outfits ranged from simple evening gowns and suits to makeshift “Phantom of the Opera” masks and capes. 

“I look forward to seeing all the nice outfits people have picked out,” Francis said. “I also hope that people notice the way that I structured the performances. The cabaret moves mostly in eras to show an approximate version of Broadway history.”

Paige Anderson, a sophomore chemistry major and show attendee, said she loved seeing the performances, especially her roommate, Lucia Troiano.

“I came to see my roommate’s performance and she was amazing in my opinion,” Anderson said. “I really liked the performances in general though and I loved the funny skits that were sprinkled throughout.” 

Tran-Speros said her love for musical theater stems from the supportive community that comes with it. 

“It may seem a little cliche, but I love the community that comes with it,” Tran-Speros said. “Performing is obviously always a good time, but it wouldn’t be the same without the people that come together to create such an amazing atmosphere.”