APPLETON, Wis. (WFRV) – Hybrid vigor is on display in “Encore Cabaret,” a show with roots in Broadway musicals and branches everywhere.
In the branches are young voices and top instrumental jazz musicians. Broadway songs are performed in a jazzy way.
The show is an offshoot of Fox Cities Performing Arts Center’s Center Stage High School musical theater program.
Another show will be presented at 7:30 p.m. today, Saturday, January 15, at the Kimberly-Clark Theater downtown. Info: foxcitiespac.com.
The seats are cabaret style. The “cabaret” element extends to the service of drinks.
COVID-19 protocols are present: Masking for public and staff. The singers wear clear plastic face shields.
The program features Broadway music from then and now.
The 12-member Cornerstone Jazz Orchestra rocks with instrumentals like “On Broadway” and “A New World” from “Songs for a New World” and medleys from shows like “West Side Story” and “ Gypsy. ”
The orchestra also supports the students of Center Stage Encore Singers in songs such as “Freak Flag” and “Who I’d Be” from “Shrek”, “The Impossible Dream” from “Man of La Mancha”, “She Used To Be Mine». ” from “Waitress”, “You’re Nothing Without Me” from “City of Angels”, “Welcome to the Rock” from “Come from Away”, “If I Loved You” from “Carousel” and “Marry the Man Today”” from “Guys and Dolls”.
Each piece is introduced with a backstory by musical director/arranger Shawn Postell, who basically put this whole shebang together at the request of the center, with lots of help from the center to staff the lights and sound elements, more ushers/servers, plus finance. On Friday night, Shawn Postell mentioned to the audience (who got a standing ovation at the end) that he couldn’t believe the number of phone calls it took to organize this project.
About thirty-five years ago, Shawn Postell arranged music for concerts as a student in the University of Wisconsin-Green Bay Jazz Program, guided by master/arranger Lovell Ives.
Side Stories: “On Broadway,” which opens this concert, is one of the pieces he arranged as a student. Following Friday’s performance, Shawn Postell said after writing the original version, “I went to Lovell Ives and he fixed it.” Saxophonist Marc Jimos, one of the musicians who deliver complex solos, is also part of the current band of this era at the UWGB.
Here is the list of students with * meaning they only perform on Saturdays:
Amelia Bazett-Jones* – Green Bay East High School
Ione Berken* – Green Bay East Secondary School
Ryan Bouchard – Pulaski High School
Isaac Bowman* – Green Bay East High School
Jennifer Duarte Castillo* – Green Bay East High School
Nandi Dubé* – Xavier High School
Karli Huss – Little Chute High School
Audryn Just – Pulaski High School
Leah Nolte – Fox Valley Lutheran High School
Dalena Pakalske – Southern Door County High School
Lily Polzin – De Pere High School
Josh Thone – Xavier High School
Also present are former Mickey Wirtz (2020), Kyra Hietpas (2019) and Matthew Wautier-Rodriguez (2019).
On Friday, Mickey Wirtz and Matthew Wautier-Rodriguez sang two solos each and had the opportunity to add character staging to their songs.
Today’s setups for high school musicals include wireless headsets so students can move freely. In this show, two to six students deliver the goods as they adjust to performing with fixed microphones.
Yes, hybrid vigor – an energetic spirit drawn from separate sources to create something special (my definition).
THE PLACE: The Kimberly-Clark Theater is a specialty/”black box” theater – flexible, focused on performance space, open ceiling with exposed theater and ventilation equipment, and little ornamentation (although this theater has red curtains, upholstered red seats and wooden elements). Located in the largest Fox Cities Performing Arts Center, the space is 56 feet wide, 75 feet long, and 25 feet high. For “Encore Cabaret”, around 28 round tables are spread over the floor to accommodate around 112 listeners. The elevated show stage is to the right of the entrance. The second level of the room is lined with segments of woodwork, an acoustic touch that adds a visual boost.
THE PEOPLE: Kimberly, Clark and Company was established in 1872 in Neenah, with the key figures in the paper business being four friendly businessmen – John A. Kimberly, Havilah Babcock, Charles B. Clark and Frank C. Shattuck. The company has been Kimberly-Clark Co. since 1906. John A. Kimberly, from a poor New York State family, was a man of ideas who got into business at an early age. Charles B. Clark, also of New York, was popular enough to be elected mayor of Neenah and to the United States House of Representatives.