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Annual Valentine Cabaret spreads love through Broadway songs

In the 27th annual Valentine Cabaret, 16 Oklahoma Christian University students are telling stories of love through 31 different Broadway songs.

“Students will be terrifically surprised by the talent of their peers, and they will be highly entertained,” director Terry Attebery, voice professor at Oklahoma Christian, said. “I really hope everyone comes to see it. They’ve put a lot of hours into this, and they are ready for an audience to encourage them. Nothing’s better to a performer than hearing that applause.”

The performances began Feb. 9 and continue Feb. 11-13 at 7 p.m. in the Oklahoma Christian Recital Hall.

This is Attebery’s first year directing and choosing the theme for the Valentine Cabaret, a long-standing tradition at Oklahoma Christian.

“I decided to do a variety of things,” Attebery said. “There will be things that are very familiar that will make the audience want to sing-a-long, and there will be things from new shows they have never heard before.”

The Valentine Cabaret theme changes each year. Most recent themes include “Songs of a New World,” “A Sondheim Sampler” and “Hooray for Love: Highlights from the Great American Sampler.”

Songs featured in this year’s show include “If I Loved You” from “Carousel,” “Magic to Do” from “Pippin,” “I Don’t Need a Roof” from “Big Fish,” “On The Street Where You Lived” and “I Could Have Danced all Night” from “My Fair Lady” and songs from “She Loves Me.”

“All the songs are loved-theme based,” Attebery said. “As we all know, love is not always great. This show is all aspects of love, the tragedy of love, the heartbreak of love and the beauty of love.”

The performers are students Kayti Alvarez, Tyler Clark, Emily Dick, Hannah Duvall, Patricia Jeffries, Austin Jones, Jabbarri Jones, Hannah Lessly, Peter Miller, Taylor Murphy, Andrea Ochoa, Tess Rudasill, Matthew Russell, Amanda Smith, Sean Steele and Nathan Taylor.

“A lot of the cast is new, because they are freshmen,” Ochoa said. “It was designed to be a growing and learning experience. This has been a really good cast. Everyone clicked really well which made the rehearsals so fun.”

Ochoa said she is excited because of the variety of talents that the show allows the cast to perform.

“It’s a really fun tradition, because we get to do a variety of things,” Ochoa said. “I’m tap dancing in one song, and then I am a ditz in another song. It’s fun to do something different than what I am used to.”

Attebery said his favorite part of production has been watching the cast members grow and step up to the challenge of the parts.

“I love seeing the kids blossom,” Attebery said. “They are really taking ownership of each number and have learned to sell that to the audience. My favorite is the closing number because the kids really do a fabulous job with it.”

The Saturday night show is already sold out; however, tickets for Thursday and Friday night are $12 and can be purchased online. Tickets are $7 with a student ID and can be purchased from the box office.

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