Community themed Cabaret wraps opening weekend

Story by Photos by Anna Mateffy and Words by Hailey Novak

After countless hours spent rehearsing the past few months, students involved in UW-Eau Claire’s Department of Music and Theatre Arts put on their third Cabaret performance at 7:30 p.m. Jan. 23 in the Ojibwe Ballroom of the Davies Student Center.

This year, 130 student members from the Singing Statesmen, Women’s Concert Chorale, The University Symphony Orchestra and The Jazz Ensemble gathered on stage to perform the 37th annual production of the event with the theme “Community.”

Audience members were taken on a musical tour of venues representing the community such as the post office, gym and home, all while enjoying an array of food and beverages as per traditional Cabaret.

Jenny Lindman, a 21-year-old foreign exchange student from Sweden, attended her first Eau Claire Cabaret performance Saturday evening. Lindman was impressed with the show and said the strong vocals from the soloists and duets gave her goosebumps.

Many of the cast members received scholarships to honor their involvement and commitment to the production.

Gary Schwartzhoff, director of Cabaret at Eau Claire for 24 years, said 17 students each received $1,000 scholarships this year. The funding for the scholarships is generated through ticket sales and generous corporate donations.

Jared Martin, senior psychology pre-med double major, took the stage for his third year in a row as a Cabaret member.

Martin became involved in Cabaret through his love of music and admitted the event is a “weird hidden gem” he is thankful to have been wrapped up in.

“It challenges you in a different way than you might be during the academic year,” Martin said.

Many of the students involved with the show are music majors and minors who will need to produce variety shows and performances much like Cabaret during their future careers, so this serves as great practice for not only the cast members, but also the ten student directors who helped produce the show.

Kelsey Barnes, sophomore psychology major and member of the Women’s Concert Chorale, took part in her first Cabaret performance this year.

Barnes said the cast members devoted up to 12 hours each day beginning Jan. 18 to perfect the show. Though it was a long and hard week, Barnes said it was worth it.

When asked what her favorite part of being a new member was she said it was the atmosphere.

“The people. I made a lot of new friends and there is a huge sense of community,” she said.

Three more performances of Cabaret XXXVII will be held at 7:30 p.m. Friday and Saturday, and a matinee show at 2 p.m. Saturday in the Ojibwe Room of Davies Student Center.