The lives of young people in America’s largest city offer the backdrop of the latest student theatrical production at Northeast Community College.
Dates for the Northeast Players musical production of “The Taxi Cabaret” are Thursday, Friday and Saturday, April 29-May 1, at 7:30 p.m., on the Cox Activities Center stage at the Norfolk campus. A matinee will be Sunday at 2 p.m.
“ ‘The Taxi Cabaret’ follows six people in their 20s during their first year in New York City,” said Adam Peterson, show director and director of theater at Northeast. “Scott, an aspiring novelist, discovers that you do not have to suffer to write. Mark and Sara test their relationship when they move in together. Zach lives an E-Z Pass lifestyle, staying safely in the closet, while the eternally unlucky but relentlessly optimistic Karen falls for him, only to have her heart broken. And C.C. is an actress/temp who longs for something in her life that will last more than 16 bars.”
“The Taxi Cabaret” was conceived by Cara Reichel, with the book, music and lyrics by Peter Mills.
The musical, performed mostly in the style of a cabaret, was originally scheduled to be staged at Northeast in spring 2020 but was postponed because of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Peterson said it has been good to be able to get back working with his actors.
“COVID has not had much impact on our rehearsals, beyond the fact that we had to delay the show an entire year,” he said. “In fact, this show features many scenes with a single character on stage, so it was ideal for our current environment. We take care to wear masks and practice social distancing where possible. For performances, the actors will wear clear masks so we can see their expressions.”
Peterson said rehearsals have gone well over the past several weeks with Stewart Cramer, music instructor and director of vocal activities.
"Collaborating with Adam Peterson has been a wonderful experience, and the students have done an amazing job with the music. Everyone involved has worked so hard to put together a fantastic production, and we're all excited about the show,” Cramer said. “I couldn't ask for a better first musical at Northeast. I can't wait to see the final product."
Cast members are Madison Burns as Karen; Marissa Carr as C.C.; Shelby Laird as Sara; David McCaffrey as Mark; Hannah Vokoun as Scott; and Nolan Whitney as Zach.
Music is provided by Jordan Ortman, a collaborative pianist, organist and vocal coach based in Denver.
Courtney Ullarich serves as assistant director and leads costume design.
Crew members are Parker Barnes, light board operator/sound design; Kaitlyn Grissom, stage management; Haley Lidgett, stage management; Ethan McCorkle-Dieken, spotlight operator; and Malcolm Opoku, sound board operator.
While there is a admission charge for adults and students, admission is free to all Northeast employees and students when they show their ID. Tickets may be purchased at the door. Face masks will be required, and social distancing will be in place.