Singers express individuality to benefit charity

NU Players host Cabaret

NIAGARA FALLS, N.Y. – On Sat. April 1, the Niagara University Players hosted a Cabaret which took place in the Clet Dining Commons renovation. The theme was “Express Yo’self”.

The NU Players is a student-run organization that sponsors events for the theatre department. The Players put on a full-length show every year at the Leary Theatre. The group also takes part in school-wide events, such as the Christmas Tree Lighting and Take Back the Night, to share students’ talents and passion for the arts with the rest of the campus community.

NU Players co-heads of events Marissa Allen and Heather Casseri held auditions for this year’s Cabaret on Sat. March 18 in the Multi-Purpose Room in the lower level of Gallagher Center. All students were encouraged to audition with a song that they felt best expressed their individuality. All different types of songs were accepted, giving students the chance to experiment with different music styles. Some chose to sing pop songs, others jazz, and others stuck to musical theatre.

The event began at 7:30 p.m. and was open to both students and families. Food was available for performers and audience members. One by one, students went up and performed pieces that they felt expressed themselves and what they’ve grown to learn.

Kayla McSorley, a junior, sang “Breakaway” by Kelly Clarkson. She stated that she chose this song because it was the first song she sang Karaoke to, and that she has a personal connection to it. Heather Casseri also sang a pop song, performing “King of Anything” by Sara Bareilles.

Charles McGregor, a sophomore, also performed. McGregor has been in many productions at Niagara University, including The Drowsy Chaperone, The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee, and most recently, Dead Man’s Cell Phone. He sang “In San Francisco” by Tony Bennett.

Matt Myers, a junior, and Clarissa Maloy, a senior, performed a duet from the musical Dog Fight called “First Date/Last Night”. These two performance majors will be in the upcoming show The Pajama Game, which opens at the Leary Theatre on April 20.

Other students decided to pair up for certain numbers. Casseri joined Ronnie Stewart to sing Lady Gaga’s “A Million Reasons”. This powerful song was beautifully performed. While it is one of the more serious songs that was sang, Cabaret also included some fun and uplifting numbers. Juniors Kevin Trala and David Wysocki rapped “Yorktown” from the hit musical Hamilton. Another junior, Russell Wilson performed “Billy the Kid” by Billy Joel.

Marnie Williams Aldrow was the official accompanist for the event. A professional musician, Aldrow has worked with the NU Theatre Department before, most recently playing in the band for The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee.

Admission into Cabaret was free, but donations were accepted for Camp Duffield, a camp and retreat center for Christians. The camp seeks to give people of all ages a space to reflect on the world around them and to recognize the beauty of God’s creation. The camp has services for adults with special needs and single parents as well as young children.

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