Looking at love through humor and music

Students performing in the fall cabaret rehearse for the upcoming performance on Dec. 2 in the Yvonne Theater.
Students performing in the fall cabaret rehearse for the upcoming performance on Dec. 2 in the Yvonne Theater.

By Mary-Lyn Buckley

Rider’s fall cabaret, “Welcome The Rain,” will debut on Friday, Dec. 2, in the Yvonne Theater, and will showcase rising talent. The performance will feature comical songs surrounding the theme of everlasting love.

Associate professor of Music Theater Voice Mariann Cook has been directing for over 20 years and chose the show because of its overarching message — allowing adversity to make you stronger.

“Most of the songs are about life and love and loss and gain, subjects that resonate with any person traversing through college or adulthood,” she said. “It is my hope that the performers and the audience will enjoy each slice of life presented.”

The title song, “Welcome The Rain,” essentially has a sense of short-lived community and can be interpreted as real and meaningful. Cook has worked with theater students for weeks rehearsing each song, all with a vision.

Performer and sophomore theater major Jack Gerhard stated, “Cook helps you get on another level. She encourages us to bring more depth that can be communicated to the audience.”

Throughout the cabaret, there is no dialogue present and each song embarks on a self-contained story. The cast, predominately female, and Cook had a vision to create a cabaret around the featured songs and humor.

“Welcome The Rain” also features original composition from Goldrich and Heisler, a women writing team that received the Fred Ebb Award for musical theater songwriting. Both Goldrich and Heisler built their pieces around the theme of life and love.

Many featured songs performed throughout the show focus on subjects that resonate with individuals traversing throughout college and adulthood. Characters in the show can be found focusing on their own life frustrations; however, all of the actors bring a unique standpoint on how they choose to handle reality.

Cook mandated actors to present their song as a spoken monologue before even getting to sing a single note of music. In addition to the spoken monologue, each performer had to present a short, written discourse on what it means to them to “welcome the rain;” they were then asked to incorporate what they have written about into their scenes.

“This show focuses on people falling in love, losing love and love coming together as a sense of renewal,” said sophomore theater major Terrie Goins. “Breaking up and coming together happens a lot in college. By listening to the lyrics, you’ll get a sense of how to learn and move on.”

Cook believes each song has a self-contained story, which is delivered by the performer. She enclosed her only aspiration at the end of the show is that the singers and actors communicate: whether it be a story, feeling or a thought.

“It is my hope that the performers and the audience will enjoy each slice of life presented,”she said.

 

Originally published in the 11/30/16 edition.

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