Plans Underway for Cabaret Night Saturday, March 23

Plans Underway for Cabaret Night Saturday, March 23

Aeva Ver Boort, Staff Writer, Advanced Journalism

Cabaret Night, March 23, is a night at Notre Dame Academy where students and staff can show people their talents.  

I always call it the biggest event of the spring semester, like Mr. NDA is the biggest event of the fall semester,” said English teacher Carolyn Brown, who has been in charge of the event in past years.  “This night takes a lot of volunteers and talented people. It is a night where we celebrate the fine arts.”

This event draws hundreds of people as spectators and gives everybody at NDA a chance to participate. From singing to dancing to playing an instrument or showing a video to doing a monologue, Cabaret Night is dependent on volunteer sign-ups with no auditions.

“It is the one time during the year that if you want to be a part of it you can be a part of it,” said Frau Jennie Laaksonen, coordinator for this year’s Cabaret Night.

With performances in the auditorium, commons, library and other rooms throughout NDA, visitors can move from one performance area to another.  The commons itself is set up as a cafe with tables and chairs and snacks available.

In brief, this night allows people to pick and choose what they want to see and listen to.  

“It is just an interesting vibe,” said Frau.  “Instead of sitting in an auditorium for a few hours, you can work your way towards what you want to watch.”        

To Brown the night is one of surprises.

“It’s amazing to discover and see the talents of people,” she said. “One year this little freshman unknown called Ella Hunt blew my socks off.  Of course, she went on to become a stage star throughout high school. And sometimes a jock like Ben Harpt fills the library with people curious to see his piano skills–and leave blown away.”

Frau took over Cabaret Night last year when Mrs. Brown was out with a broken pelvis.  

“When you need something to be done, ask a busy person to do it,” said Brown.  Brown knew that Frau would make Cabaret Night the best it could be.

“Many people told me last year’s Cabaret Night was the best ever,” said Brown.  Frau initiated several new features, such as a digitalized schedule of events in all the performing areas.

“The hardest part of Cabaret Night is scheduling events.  You will have someone performing solo at one time and then doing a quartet with others in another act. If we only had one person doing that, the scheduling would be easy but we have dozens doing that,” said Frau.

So many people now perform that the evening now starts earlier–last year it was 5:30 p.m. and in the past it was 7 p.m.

Cabaret Night has expanded to include several acts by the staff.  

“In the past we would try to have one teacher act as a kind of surprise finish in the auditorium, such as the time when Dr. Ravizza and Mr. Pauley sang ‘Proud Mary.’ Now we have many staff members willing to participate,” said Brown.

Cabaret Night is totally free, although in the past donations have funded a drum set for the band hall and a piano for the music program.  

“A lot of parents and grandparents are amazed by what they see and hear and drop a $20 bill in the donation jar as they leave,” said Brown.  “For me the fun part is that you never know the Sam Schmids who will surprise you by playing the piano or singing a song.”