HCC’s Arts Collective Presents ‘A Cabaret,’ This Friday & Saturday 4/12&13 by S.G. Kramer

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Featuring Broadway’s most beloved favorites and the unfamiliar, PLUS original numbers from locally produced musicals. This show is STACKED with moving and unforgettable performances by the area’s most wildly gifted performers!

Timoth D. Copney. Photo by JilliAnne Grabau.
Timoth D. Copney. Photo by JilliAnne Grabau.

Howard Community College’s Arts Collective (AC) is beyond excited and very ready to present A Cabaret, a two-night-only cabaret, on Friday, April 12 and Saturday, April 13, at 8 p.m. in HCC’s Horowitz Center Studio Theatre. Directed by Grace Anastasiadis with musical director Stacey Antoine, A Cabaret is stacked with the area’s most wildly gifted vocalists performing numbers from Aida, Cabaret, Chicago, Company, Darling, Funny Girl, Hairspray, Jekyll and Hyde, Jesus Christ Superstar, The Judy Garland Show, The Last Five Years, Roberta, and much more featuring Erin Adams, Rachel Bailey, Robert Bradley, Timoth David Copney, Tracy Davidson, Ryan Michael Haase, Renata Hammond, Nina Kauffman, Paul Kennedy, Clare Kneebone, Kevin James Logan, Devery McDonald, Amanda Rife, Danielle Robinette, and Danielle Sherry.

An Interview with A Cabaret’s director, Grace Anastasiadis

Director Grace Anastasiadis.
Director Grace Anastasiadis performing in Arts Collective’s cabaret ‘On Broadway.’

S.G.: Is this the first time HCC’s AC has presented a cabaret?

Grace: No, actually! AC included a cabaret similar in format last season, A Passion for Broadway, co-directed by myself and Jenny Male, but it was offered one-night-only (which sold-out days before opening)! So many audience members who saw that cabaret and many of the performers involved in it shared passionate interest in offering more than one performance! Hence this season’s two-night-only A Cabaret!

How did you design the line-up for this season’s A Cabaret?

Arts Collective held open auditions (open to all vocalists ages 18 and up) including current and past HCC students and local guest artists. Auditionees were asked to sing 2 songs of their choice, but also knew in advance that other numbers may be suggested after the audition process (based on the types of songs offered during auditions). Out of the stellar turn-out, we selected 17 performers which represent an amazing mix of HCC students, alumni and guest artists. What’s amazing is that we were able to include many of the songs the auditionees brought to the table, but there were just a couple of instances when we suggested singing/ learning a new song, which would flow better with the rest of the offerings. This process has been received well by all involved, which is great as it makes for a richer line-up we think audiences are going to love!

Many cabarets are offered in the area. Why should audiences choose this one?  What makes it unique?

Clare Kneebone. Photo by JilliAnne Grabau.
Clare Kneebone. Photo by JilliAnne Grabau.

I think AC’s cabaret format is outstanding because there are so many different song styles included in it. What I mean by that is that we will range from hearing beautiful ballads to up-tempo songs that were written in the 60s and 70s to beautiful poppy to jazzy songs written as early as last year – some of which premiered right here in Maryland!

You mentioned open casting and a cast which features HCC students, alumni, and guest artists. How does that work

Arts Collective prides itself on being just that, a Collective. So, when we have auditions for our shows, they are usually open to our students, alumni, and the community. Everyone!!! That said, the show is made up of just that! Yes, HCC students and alumni, but also students from other schools (such as Towson University) and guest artists from the community. One of AC’s goals is to bring together an exciting wide range of performers together on stage – it’s a fabulous experience working with them and brings us so much joy introducing them to us (HCC’s AC and Horowitz Center)! So, yes, A Cabaret includes a wonderful span of people ranging from professional artists, to first-time soloists on-stage, all working together – and I find that Very exciting!

Can you speak to the musical elements of A Cabaret? What it’s been like to work with music director, Stacey Antoine?

This year, we decided to have an orchestra pit, which is another very exciting element of this show! Last year, we included a grand piano as the only instrument, but this year, we wanted to up the stakes and have a 4 piece band! Stacey is so lovely to work with and such a giving and collaborative musical director. Working with him is fantastic because we both care about the show’s quality.

What can audiences expect to see and hear? What is different about this year’s cabaret compared to last year’s?

Another exciting thing: this year’s cabaret will be in two acts! But, we’re also including two emcees! Darius McKeiver and Candace Cooper (who are both HCC alumni)! Darius and Candace will be escorting through the entire evening’s celebration of musical theatre, giving our audiences a glance at where musicals came from, and where they’re headed.

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A CABARET TICKETS:  Tickets are $15 for general admission; $12 for seniors, military, and groups; and $10 for students with I.D. and may be purchased through the HCC’s Horowitz Center Box Office (443-518-1500) or online. For more information about AC, call 443-518-1922, visit their website, or email artscollective@howardcc.edu. Note: Parental guidance suggested. Recommended for ages 12 and up.

Howard Community College’s Horowitz Center Studio Theatre is located inside the Peter and Elizabeth Horowitz Visual and Performing Arts Center (HVPA) on the campus of HCC – 10901 Little Patuxent Parkway, in Columbia, MD.

About the Director: Grace Anastasiadis: Recent directorial credits include The Bubbly Black Girl Sheds Her Chameleon Skin (co-directed with Ryan Michael Haase) for Stillpoint Theatre Initiative and the Strand Theater Company in Baltimore, Arsenic and Old Lace for Stillpointe Theatre Initiative in Baltimore and A Passion for Broadway (co-directed with Jenny Male) and A Midsummer Night’s Dream for Howard Community College’s Arts Collective. She is the Associate Artistic and Managing Director for HCC’s Arts Collective and an adjunct theatre faculty member for Howard Community College. Grace holds a BA in theatre performance from the University of MD, and an AA in theatre performance from HCC.

About the Music Director: Stacey Antoine works with HCC’s Arts Collective for the first time following HCC’s and Columbia’s Silhouette Stages’ partnered production of Rent. Additional recent credits include The Bubbly Black Girl Sheds Her Chameleon Skin (co-produced by Stillpoint Theatre Initiative and the Strand Theater Company in Baltimore); Hello Dolly! (Spotlighters); Rocky Horror and Reefer Madness (Baltimore Theatre Project); Hairspray and Urinetown (Patapsco HS); and Jesus Christ Superstar. Stacey received a BA degree in music and minor in theatre from Towson University.

About Howard Community College’s Arts Collective (AC)
Arts Collective’s 18th Season & Subscription Series delivers its most magical to date – breathing new life into a holiday classic, conjuring original works (improvisation), lush cabarets, cutting-edge choreography and dance, a romantic comedy and so much more… smoldering with elements unforgettable… and all things magical.  Established in 1994, AC continues to be a force to be reckoned with… entirely committed to offering diverse, awe-inspiring works across all genres (plays, musicals, improvisation, original works, dance and more)! AC, a professionally run organization, is all about supporting, nurturing and fusing collaborative relationships between all artists, from students to professionals – on and off the stage – to Howard County and beyond. Celebrate AC’s artistic bravery, unique learning environment and stellar work today!