Musical Theatre Organization to Present Broadway Reimagined: A Miscast Cabaret
East Stroudsburg University’s Musical Theatre Organization (MTO) decided to take an unconventional approach to select the songs for this year’s cabaret, Broadway Reimagined: A Miscast Cabaret, being presented Saturday, May 4 at 2 p.m. and 7:30 p.m. at ESU’s Fine and Performing Arts Center.
“In a musical, a song is performed by a specific character with certain predetermined characteristics—age, gender, ethnicity—and if you don’t fit the role, you probably won’t get to sing it onstage,” explained Jalon Mathis, a sophomore majoring in musical theatre, and vice president of MTO from Allentown, Pa.
“We decided to reimagine the songs with nontraditional casting, so that the performers could have fun with the song and bring a new perspective to the piece,” Mathis said.
Deijah Faulkner, a junior majoring in musical theatre from Long Island, N.Y., chose to sing “Waving Through a Window” from the musical Dear Evan Hansen. “The song was written for an anxious, insecure, lonely, teenage boy,” she said, “and I have an outgoing personality. The piece helps me get in touch with my softer side.”
For his solo, Na’zir Postell, a freshman majoring in musical theatre from Levittown, Pa., will be singing “Never Enough” from The Greatest Showman. “In the musical, the character of Jenny Lind, the famous opera singer brought to America by P.T. Barnum, sings this number because she can never get enough of life,” he said, “and I certainly can agree with that.”
MTO president Marcell McKenzie, a senior majoring in musical theatre from Kunkletown, Pa., directed and choreographed the production. “There are more than 20 performers this year, including new members who have brought lots of energy to the group,” he said.
“In addition to solos, the production has small group numbers – some all-female, some all-male, and some full ensemble – with lots of dancing,” McKenzie said. One of his favorite group numbers is “Something About This Night” from Finding Neverland because “it features many intricate dance moves. We also have songs from Wicked, Mulan, and Funny Girl in the cabaret.”
Performances of Broadway Reimagined: A Miscast Cabaret are Saturday, May 4 at 2 p.m. and 7:30 p.m. in the Dale Snow Theatre of ESU’s Fine & Performing Arts Center, Normal and Marguerite, streets, East Stroudsburg.
The cabaret is open to the public at no cost, but reservations are strongly suggested as seating is limited. Tickets can be reserved online at esu.edu/theatretickets or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org. For more information about the production, email email@example.com, or call 570-422-3483.