MaCabaret night wows crowd once again

Spooky performance brings fun and good times for all.


Elizabeth Guevara

Theater students participating in a group performance to combine their talents.

Elizabeth Guevara, Opinion Editor

   MaCabaret Night, held on Oct. 25 and 26 by students in the musical theater class to raise money for upcoming performances, was a whirlwind of preparations, but the theater students were able to bring it together with their teamwork and talents.

    Originally named “Cabaret Night,” the theater teacher Racey Ballard wanted to put a twist on the classic tradition.  

     “Cabaret is tradition and we have done it for years,” Ballard said. “This year we put a theme to it, macabre, or terrifying frightening, we did this to make it more cohesive.”

     A haunted hall was the kickoff to the performance, an eerie start before family and friends sat down to enjoy the songs. The booster club added to the night by selling cakes, drinks and tickets.

    “The booster club is so helpful,” Lilly Johnson, co-president of the theater club, said.

“They organize so much for us.”      

     The event is a variety show. Different songs and dances were put together without a plot or static characters. Each student in the musical theater class was able to choose a song, and audition with a certain group or by themselves. When the songs were approved, students were required to learn the choreography and songs in class.

     “We didn’t have that much time to rehearse because we had just closed Wendy and Peter Pan,” Johnson said. “A lot of things were very sporadic and we all had to help out.”                  

     MaCabaret night was also a collaboration between the different performance art teachers in Plano. Students first learned their music from Reza Azizi, the vocal director at Clark High School. Then they went to April Lutts, a guest choreographer teacher from Jasper HS and Danny Lazano, the director of dance for Plano, to learn their dances. 

“All their personalities are so different that it helps us see cool new perspectives,” Johnson said. “They lead the group with a precedent that we are here to work and you should enjoy the things you are doing, because that’s where the fun comes from.”

After they got their initial instructions, they had two weeks in class to rehearse and perfect their numbers with Mr. Ballard. Ellen Watts and the other tech students also lent a hand to the performance, creating the decorations and working the lights and sound.

“A lot of the numbers had a student-led approach,” John Marshall, co-president of theater club, said. “We would work on the numbers and then the teachers would give us feedback.”

          Along with the small group and solo performances, the entire cast had two big numbers that they had to work on together, “Little Shop of Horrors” and “Time-Warp.” These were an exciting addition to the night for the students.

     “I loved the ending, ‘Time Warp’,” Ballard said. “April Lutts actually came and worked with the kids, and she created something incredible.”

      The main point of MaCabaret night was to raise money for the theater program. Since theatre gets no funding from the school, it is crucial to raise their own money in order to pull off stunning performances later in the year.

     “We have our musical Chicago coming up and it’s the biggest show we do so it is expensive,”Johnson said.”This event just helps elevate everything.”

     Along with raising money, MaCabaret tremendously helped the theater students bond and learn how to work together. Juniors and seniors who have never worked together before had the opportunity to learn how to complete tasks with one another. Everyone had the chance to understand how to collaborate with one another before upcoming performances.

     “It helped form a bond that will transfer to musical season,” Marshall said.

     The preparation of MaCabaret Night was quicker and more relaxed than any other productions the theater normally does. The students were able to have fun and work together on songs they chose, plus there wasn’t as much pressure to have everything perfect.

     “Everyone here was having fun,” Marshall said. “They were enjoying what they were doing.”

     MaCabaret night was a hit among friends and family that went. Consisting of laughing and singing along to songs they recognized as the students performed them. The theater program themselves were also very proud of their performances.

     “It turned out to be even better than I thought,” Ballard said. “I was pleasantly surprised.”

     Their tenacity and love of theater motivated the theater students to create a memorable performance in a short amount of time.

     “They pulled it together very quickly,” Ballard said. “It showed me as a director how capable my students really are.”