During the month of February, Oklahoma Christian University’s cast of 20 vocalists and the jazz band showcases songs at the annual Valentine Cabaret. The show will run Feb. 13 and Feb. 15-17 in Judd Theater.
Voice teacher Terry Attebury selected the singers for this year’s performance following an audition, singing a Broadway song and then learning a choreography routine. In addition to a new location, originally in Adam’s Recital Hall, Attebury said new lighting and sound equipment was donated to Judd Theater, allowing another element to the Cabaret.
“There are several things I am excited about,” Attebury said. “One is that we have added the jazz band to the mix. Secondly, that we are in Judd, which is a bigger venue than the recital hall was, allowing us more freedom in staging and to add four more people.”
According to Attebury, this year’s Cabaret features 38 musical numbers from 37 musicals ranging from “musicals your parents will remember” to La La Land and Hamilton. Attebury said working with talented students at Oklahoma Christian encourages him to direct an entertaining show.
“It is a blessing to get to work with them and watch them grow,” Attebury said. “They are all well trained vocally. Some of these kids are in their third year of cabaret with me and it is day and night with their confidence on stage—they feel comfortable.”
The cast learned the music over Christmas Break, returning to school with rehearsals each night leading up to show week. Junior Kayti Alvarez has been in Cabaret since her freshman year and said the community and family she gained from the show helped her grow as a performer.
“Each year, the cast becomes a huge family,” Alvarez said. “This year, my favorite memory will be the first dress rehearsal with all of the lights, set and costumes, because of our new venue in Judd.”
Alvarez will sing “Never Get Married” from Honeymoon in Vegas and said she is excited about the new venue and all the freedom available with decorations and choreography.
“Being in Judd has given us so much more space and creativity,” Alvarez said. “There are more decorations designed by Amy Meacham. We also got new lighting and sound equipment and a new Steinway Piano. Plus, a cast of 20, opposed to 16.”
Freshman Trevor Reed is participating in Cabaret for the first time this year and is performing “Not While I’m Around,” from Sweeny Todd. Reed said he has always enjoyed theatre and takes voice lessons from Attebury.
“I have been taking voice lessons for about three years and been in choir for about five,” Reed said. “Starting off, [Cabaret] was pretty demanding, but after about three weeks in, it was easier. I would definitely do it again.”
Reed said he has enjoyed making friendships from the music department, because it allowed him a chance to grow as a musician.
“It was stressful because I did lose out on some of the relationships I might have built within my class, but at the same time, I wouldn’t have gotten to know these people,” Reed said.
This year’s cast includes vocalists Alvarez, Emily Ellis, Patricia Jeffries, Abby Lauxman, Sydney May, Kennedy McAlister, Tess Mosley, Ashley Sepulvador, Megan Suescun, Abby Woodard, Adam Allen, Nathan Binkley, Cade Deister, Peter Miller, Austin Peace, Preston Prock, Reed, Nathan Taylor, Alex Wiggs and Thomas Winkler.
Following the performances this week, the cast will tour March 8-11 in Houston and Dallas, a first-time tour Cabaret, in hopes of recruiting prospective students.
Photo by Allyson Hazelrigg.