A summery breeze rustles gold and silver stars that don the walls of the Lower Dining Hall. Shimmery decorations are a signature of this event—after all, this is a Knight on Broadway.
On Saturday, April 18, the choir department hosted its first ever cabaret—that is, a musical performance held as audience members eat and drink at tables. The choir hosts this type of event annually, more commonly known as Operapella; but as opposed to the events of previous years, this spring the choir students decided to put on “less [of] a concert and more [of] a theatrical performance,” according to senior Jonathan Gelb.
The preparation for the event was tricky for many of the choir members, because it required both singing and acting. “I was a bit skeptical,” senior Alan Gan said. “I wasn’t sure how it was going to pan out, or if people would take much out of the experience at all, given the whole new format.”
Junior Madhavi Challa found the characterization of her vocal part difficult, since her act in particular required the context of a dialogue scene before the actual singing. For junior Carli Harpel, who sang as a soloist for the first time, “practicing in front of the choir prior to the actual show helped me a lot.” And junior Emmanuelle Farrell said she found that “less is more” when it comes to choreography.
Knight on Broadway required more than just musical preparation. Junior Abrefi Cann, among others, helped with choreography, hosting, serving and seating arrangements. Choir students also set up and decorated the LDH to match the night’s theme. Senior Catherine Salvato said that Silver Lining in particular had to arrange extra rehearsals over spring break to not only learn the music but also achieve the intended characterization for the song “Cell Block Tango” from Chicago.
Farrell said she felt the work paid off, producing a “carefree yet tirelessly perfected concert.” Sophomore Scott Gelb, a member of Knight Owls and Out of the Blue, found the Operapella “way more professional and much better organized compared to last year’s show.” The food was Italian, and in between acts, senior hosts Jonathan Gelb and Alora Eisen entertained the audience by discussing various theatrical topics, from their disbelief at the choice of West Side Story for next year’s musical to their very first Broadway experience.
“There were so many variables to coordinate, that the fact that they all coalesced so well is mind-blowing,” Gelb said.