Sunday, August 5, 2007

"Into the Woods" Singers Knock 'Em Outa the Park

Posted by Bruce Miller

The Musical Theatre Cabaret that cast members from Into the Woods performed this past Saturday night at midnight (and will trot out again this Tuesday evening, Aug 7, at 8pm) is nothing short of fantastic. The lively, 2-hour show is presented on the lobby stage at Barksdale Willow Lawn, with the audience sitting at tables and enjoying unbelievably delicious homemade baked goods from the kitchen of Zak Resnick’s mom, and spirited libations from mix master Russell Rowland at the cash bar.

All proceeds go to support the Richmond Theatre Artists Fund, which is a good and important cause. The Fund exists to provide immediate financial relief to members of our theatre community if and when severe illness or accident places them in a financially untenable position. Over the past 15 or so years, I can remember at least four times when beloved theatre artists found themselves in desperate situations through no cause of their own. In each instance, the whole community jumped in to help with thousands of dollars of life-saving support.

Some of us old timers started the fund, which is administered by RAPT and managed by the Community Foundation. But in this instance, it’s the young Turks who have decided to lend their voices, literally, to get us one step closer to raising our ultimate goal of $200,000—enough to pay out about $10 K per year without dipping into the principal. I know, I know, it may take 15 years to reach our goal, but Rome wasn’t built in a day.

Tickets are $25, or $20 for Barksdale and Theatre IV subscribers, or $10 for cast members from other shows. Or if you can’t afford the $25 or the $20 and you want to come, I’m sure no one will object terribly if you pick a show that you’d like to be in and ask for the $10 rate. But come hungry. Proceeds from the scrumptious desserts also go to the Fund.

The high wattage cast includes Zak Resnick (who headed the whole thing up and is a Broadway star in the making if ever there was one), Amy Hruska, Jackie Jones, Katrinah Lewis, Rita Markova, Kim Reuter, Drew Siegla, Craig Smith and Hannah Zold. Robyn O’Neill makes a great cameo appearance, and Rachel Abrams is a high hoot as host. Best of all is the incomparable Sandy Dacus, making the piano sing during every number.
Every number is a high point, but if I had to pick out a few to highlight, I could not resist praising:

Opening – The New World from Songs for a New World by Jason Robert Brown, sung by the entire cast;

Unusual Way from Nine by Arthur Kopit & Maury Yeston, sung by Rita Markova;

Run Away with Me from The Unauthorized Autobiography of Samantha Brown by Kerrigan and Lowdermilk, sung by Zak Resnick;

Way Back to Paradise from Marie Christine by Michael John LaChiusa, sung by Katrinah Lewis;

Captain Piggle Wiggle from The Magic Mrs. Piggle-Wiggle by Chad Henry, sung by Jackie Jones; and

Run, Freedom, Run! from Urinetown by Greg Kotis & Mark Hollman, sung by the entire cast. (And don't forget, Urinetown opens soon at the Mill and it should be really great!)

All in all, it’s a glorious night at the theatre. Please call for tickets today at 282-2620.

--Bruce Miller


Anonymous said...

Just got home from a fantastic performance by this super-talented group! It was a wonderful experience for my teenaged children as well - who have never had the experience of "cabaret." We are so blessed to have such talent right here in our backyard! Bravo!

Anonymous said...

I was unable to catch the cabaret, but my daughter just showed me several clips on You Tube. Great work!! It felt just like being in NYC again.