Students to perform in cabaret shows

Alexus Bomar, staff reporter

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Oakland University theatre students will bring personal dialogue, songs and stories to Orchid Nightclub in Ferndale as part of cabaret performances from Sunday, April 10 to Wednesday, April 13.

“Cabaret is a type of nightclub entertainment involving singing and some patter/stand-up in a bar environment,” Stefanie Sambrano, junior, musical theatre major and one of the performers said via email.

Under the direction of Fred Love, associate professor of theatre and musical theatre program coordinator, and musical direction of Alissa Hetzner, musical theatre vocal coach, the performers took a class that allowed them to put together one-person shows that invite audience members to share the performer’s journey through their creative processes.

“This is a class that we take when we learn how to develop and perform our own cabaret acts,” Emily Michelle Griffith, senior, musical theatre major and one of the performers said over email.  “We create a set list, write patter, which is what performers say between songs, create a poster and help orchestrate the event.”

According to Griffith, it is fairly free-form and students can tell stories or convey thoughts.  “We’re allowed to be ourselves on stage, which can be very freeing.”

“We study popular cabarets and all of the ‘do’s’ and ‘don’ts’ of performing in a nightclub setting,” said Sambrano.

The performers also got to make their own posters, which are featured on OU’s Music, Theatre and Dance Facebook page.

There are two groups of cabaret shows. One group will be performing April 10 and 12 and the other group will be performing April 11 and 13.

The four nights of Nightclub Cabaret Acts are as follows:

-Sunday, April 10 to Tuesday, April 12: 8 p.m. to 11 p.m., doors open at 7 p.m.

-Wednesday, April 13: 6:30 p.m. to 9:00 p.m., doors open at 5:30 p.m.

The Orchid Nightclub is located at 141 W. Nine Mile Road in Ferndale. Tickets, only available at the door, are $5 for students with an ID and $10 for general admission.

“The night is normally filled with lots of laughter and raunchy stories,” said Griffith. “It’s a good way to blow off some steam and relax before finals week.”

Upcoming Music, Theatre and Dance (MTD) events:

  • Young Choreographer Forum (April 14 to April 17); Oakland Dance Theatre and OU Repertory Dance Company present their annual showcase; $14 general admission, $8 for students
  • 17th Annual Matilda Awards (April 17 at 6 p.m.); honors outstanding contributions from MTD students, alumni and community partners
  • New Student Showcase for acting and musical theatre (April 24 from 3 p.m. to 5 p.m. and 7 p.m. to 9 p.m.); free admission

For more information, visit OU’s Department of Music, Theatre and Dance’s website.