Over 60 cast and crew members of Slippery Rock University Musical Theatre Society (MTS) showcased their talents in ‘A Night at the Tonys’ Cabaret Tuesday night in the auditorium of the Advanced Technology and Science Hall (ATS). Each Tony Award-winning song was performed, sung and choreographed by students. The theme was made complete as senior public relations major, Vice President of MTS and emcee for the night Ryan Barlow introduced each number.
Junior math major and assistant director of the show Sydney DonGiovanni said she has been involved with MTS since her freshman year. This was DonGiovanni’s first time being part of a directing team, but she said she has worked on choreography multiple times before.
“I got involved [with MTS] my freshman year and I got my start choreographing after the current choreographer back then saw how fast I was picking it up,” DonGiovanni said.
As assistant director, DonGiovanni helped to pick out all the songs and work on blocking for some of the numbers.
“One of the biggest challenges for this show was that we had to make sure all the songs have actually won a Tony to match the theme,” DonGiovanni said.
Senior music and health care administration double major and President of MTS Sam Christou was really excited for the song choices and theme this year. All the songs were from different Broadway musicals including ‘Hairspray,’ ‘Urinetown,’ ‘Billy Elliot,’ ‘Into the Woods’ and ‘Phantom of the Opera,’ she said.
“This show is unique because we have an emcee to comment in between each act,” Christou added, which MTS has never done before.
The show was filled with songs from both classic and modern musicals, as well as new and old MTS members. Senior Sarah Sobota and freshman Austin Cornelius performed ‘All I Ask of You’ from ‘Phantom of the Opera.’ The duet was Cornelius’ second MTS performance while it was Sobota’s last.
The cabaret showed a wide variety of songs and talent. Sophomore Shannon O’Reilly was able to showcase her singing and dancing through ‘Electricity’ from ‘Billy Elliot,’ and senior Ryan Logue and the ‘Loguettes’ were able to put on a comedic performance of ‘Hard to be the Bard’ from ‘Something Rotten!’ Altogether, there were 19 numbers, which included solos, duets and group performances.
Most cabarets MTS puts on have a different theme, and this one was really fun, DonGiovanni said.
“So many freshmen are in [the cabaret] this year,” Christou said, which promises for lots of new talent in the future for MTS.
Being on crew comes with its challenges but is worth it in the end, Christou and DonGiovanni agreed.
“Things definitely don’t always go according to plan, just like anything else and we have to do what is best for the sake of the show rather than what we want,” DonGiovanni said. “In the end, my favorite part is seeing the show come together for the first time,” she said, reflecting on her experience.
“Being a director is completely different than being an actor,” DonGiovanni said. “There are so many little things that go into it and it is very involved.”
This cabaret and past performances helped MTS raise money so they are able to put on a musical every other year. They are looking forward to putting on ‘The Wedding Singer’ next semester in early April.