Plans Underway for Cabaret Night on Saturday, March 24


Payton Van Pelt, Staff Writer, Advanced Journalism

Cabaret Night is one of the best ways to celebrate the various creative talents that the Notre Dame Academy community has to offer. From singing, to art, to short films and bands, Cabaret Night is essential.

Cabaret Night was originally organized by the Drama Club as a fundraiser. When Associate Principal Greg Masarik came to English teacher Carolyn Brown and asked her to ‘revitalize’ the night, she agreed only if it was free.

“I am not a fine arts person,” said Brown, “but I’ve always appreciated people who have talents, and I’ve appreciated being entertained.”

Brown took over about five years ago, and ever since it’s been free, although they do take donations. The donations have contributed to the purchase of a drum set for the band as well as the beautiful grand piano used on the auditorium stage.

“All I do is organize it and try to hype it up,” said Brown, “but Mrs. Salerno, Mr. Johnson and Mrs. Brandtner are the masterminds behind organizing the performers.”

Choir Director Christine Salerno and Band Director Steve Johnson work with Brown to schedule acts in three simultaneous performance areas–the auditorium, the library and the commons.

Another key person is Auditorium Tech Director Jake Gerlikovski, who heads a crew of NDA students who handle the technical aspects of the evening.   

Band parents will continue their tradition of serving a meal; this year the food served will be catered from the Blue Opus.  Choir parents will sell drinks and snacks in the concession stand later in the evening after the dinner.

Mrs. Salerno said about 25 of her students plan on performing, and she emphasized that Paul Gapinski, Eric Weycker and Emily Seidel are sure to have some ‘memorable’ acts.  

“I’m hoping everyone will have a great time and be respectful of all performers,” said Salerno. “All are welcome.  We just don’t want any inappropriate acts.”

Mrs. Brandtner is in charge of setting up the art show. This is the only art show the whole year, and all the art students’ work from both first and second semester is included.

“I look for artwork that is above average,” explained the art teacher. “I look for artwork that has a wow quality to it, so everything in the show is usually strong skillswise.

“You will be amazed by some students who come into art classes with not too many skills; they don’t know what art is. And then at the end of a course, they are creating beautiful work.”

The art show will be judged by two Saint Norbert College professors, Kathy Ries and Debbie Kupinsky. The art show will be set up on the Friday afternoon before Cabaret in the Library.  Prizes will be awarded to the students. There will be an overall first, second and third, as well as standout paintings, drawings and photographs.

This will be Mrs. Brandtner’s last Cabaret art show, for she plans to retire at the conclusion of this year. She’s looking forward to putting on a nice show and demonstrating the best of Notre Dame.

Mr. Johnson is in charge of organizing the band performances. They usually perform in the cafeteria, where the Blue Opus is catering.

Aside from the cafeteria, for more intimate performances and videos, the Library and a room in the priory will be open, and the auditorium will hold more large-scale acts.

“A few years ago we had the idea to have the teachers to perform,” said Brown. “And I already have a few teacher acts, but they will be surprises, and they’ll bring the house down.”

If you’re interested in signing up, if you’re a band student, you sign up with Mr. Johnson. If you’re in choir, you sign up with Mrs. Salerno; if you’re an art student, you sign up with Mrs. Brandtner; and if you’re not in any of these categories, you go to Mrs. Brown.

Cabaret is on Saturday, March 24, and doors will open at 4:30 p.m. for the dinner with performances expected to start at 5 p.m..