February 5, 2004  
Volume 97, Issue 70  

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ARTS & ENTERTAINMENT

Hush up, Don’t Tell Mama
Musicals aren’t dead

By Anna Coutts
Gazette Staff

Cabaret revues are an excellent way to showcase musically talented stars, and that’s exactly what Theatre Western plans to do with its production of Don’t Tell Mama.

“There’s so many talented people here at Western, but no real place for them all to show off their abilities,” explains the show’s producer Antonio Tan.

Performer Ciaran McCarthy concurs. “After seeing all the performers sing their solos, I was completely blown away. There are some very talented people at this school, and this show is a great thing to have, so that such talent can be celebrated.”

While originally the show was to be based in the same era as the musical Cabaret — 1920s Berlin — it quickly evolved into a more modern show. By featuring such popular modern musicals as Hairspray, Gypsy, Ragtime, Nine, Chicago, Jesus Christ Superstar, Rent and Titanic, Tan hopes the show will draw a larger, broader audience.

“It’s very hard to sell to Western,” he says. “You never know if you are going to be able to sell out or not.” Tan feels that the key to getting people out to shows is through promotion.

“If people don’t know about it, they won’t come,” Tan says. As such, Don’t Tell Mama’s production crew has worked hard on putting together a professional looking poster campaign to emphasize just how gifted its stars are.

Western Idol winner Angie Gachui has a few large numbers in the show and as such, has been a main focus in the show’s promotion. However, Gachui is just one of many talented performers being showcased. Other stars include Western Idol finalist Jennifer Dell’Unto, varsity soccer player Ciaran McCarthy and Cabaret star Megan Phillips.
All members of the cast have put in long hours and worked extremely hard, and each member has added something unique to the show.

“It takes tons of effort to pull off a good show, not to mention a lot of energy,” Tan says. He explains that he would not have been able to pull off the production if it weren’t for everyone’s hard work, and notes that musical director Josh Preiss was a key player in pulling the artistic integrity of the show together in the last few weeks of rehearsal.

While it may have been hard work, Tan promises it was worth it. “The payoff is so good. I was watching rehearsal the other day and was wowed. These people are just so unbelievably talented!

“Hopefully, [Don’t Tell Mama] will show people at Western that musicals aren’t a boring medium, but an entertaining way to showcase fantastic talent,” he adds.

McCarthy agrees, explaining that he has “no doubt that everyone who comes to this show will feel they definitely got their $8 worth. Musical theatre is experiencing a bit of a rebirth into popular culture. I know there is a lot of interest within our school community and that all the ‘Broadway babies’ out there won’t be disappointed!”

Don’t Tell Mama is being presented Tuesday, Feb. 10 at 9:30 p.m. at The Wave. Tickets are $8 and available at InfoSource or at the door.

 

 

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