By Julia Duggan
TCNJ Musical Theatre (TMT) performed a Cabaret on April 27. This event featured their members giving solo performances to a very specific theme — all the music performed was tied in some way to Disney.
“I decided to sign up for the Cabaret Disney-themed event because I absolutely adore performing. And with Covid, there haven’t been too many opportunities this semester,” said Kit Weeden, a sophomore biology major.
A cabaret is a very specific type of performance setting. The idea is that the performance happens in a nightclub or bar. Normally, the music is designed to be recognizable tunes for the audience. Sometimes the music can be seen as more background to the dance floor or the food, but other times, the music is the center of attention for the entire place. Since TCNJ Musical Theatre’s performance was over Zoom, it still managed to have the same cabaret feeling as one would find in person.
All the performers had to submit recorded videos of them performing their selected songs. The hosts then took all of the videos and organized them into a presentation. Each slide contained the name of the performer, what year they are and what song they would be singing.
“We decided to do a slideshow for many reasons,” said Molly Hurst, a junior history and education major and president of TMT. She had been one of the hosts during the evening. “In case of technical difficulties, I wanted to ensure that performers sent in their performances before Cabaret Night. Secondly, having them on slides made the functionality of the night so much easier for both myself and the performers. Performers were able to relax and see supportive messages throughout the chat.”
All the performances of the evening were soloist performances recorded in the various bedrooms and spaces the performers had available at home. The goal of the evening was to share music while keeping the performers and the audience members protected from Covid-19.
“I think our Cabaret Night offered our TMT Members a supportive atmosphere to showcase their amazing performance abilities,” Hurst said.
Since it is in the club’s name, it is clear that the members have a strong passion for musicals and musical theatre.
“I was so impressed by the other performers, everyone who performed was so talented,” Weeden said. “I was completely blown away by the talent each and every member has.”
The songs of the evening covered a wide variety of topics, featuring tracks like “Home” from “Beauty and the Beast,” “For the First Time in Forever,” from “Frozen,” “Watch What Happens” from “Newsies,” “She Used to be Mine,” from “Waitress,” “The World Above” from “The Little Mermaid” and “Santa Fe,” from Newsies.
Normally, one would not assume the musical “Waitress” to be connected to Disney. However, before the song was performed, Hurst explained the connection. A movie was made about this musical in 2007 by 21st Century Fox. This company is owned by Disney, hence the connection. No one in the audience appeared to mind that this connection was a little bit of a stretch compared to the other songs that were sung by the members.
“Overall, I really enjoyed the event,” Weeden said. “It’s so much fun to get to spend a night talking with friends and supporting them during their performances.”
The audience members were very excited to hear all of the performers of the evening. The chat in the Zoom room was very active and full of only positive comments. Everyone who attended the event expressed strong enthusiasm for all the performers. The performers themselves were also very supportive and encouraging to their peers that performed songs.
Hurst mentioned at the end of the event that she hoped everyone who attended was able to get a little bit of a break from stressing about upcoming assignments. She hoped that everyone was able to forget about everything and just be able to take some time and enjoy some Disney music.
“I’m so excited for TMT next year and can’t wait to see what we’ll be able to accomplish once we’re (hopefully) back in person!” Weeden said.