During my time in Cedar City, I came to look forward to Thursday nights with a gleeful anticipation usually reserved for opening my stocking on Christmas morning.
Thursday nights in Cedar City during the Utah Shakespeare Festival are home to REACH Presents: The Cabaret, described as “an up-close variety show, new every week, performed by USF Company Members”. Personally, I’d describe these nights as “an up-close variety show of glorious, hilarious, moving, brilliant, and soul-uplifting wonderment”, but sadly no one asked me to be the copywriter.
With Sam as the accompanist and many of the performers being people I feel honoured to call new friends, these cabaret nights were a whirlwind of laughter, applause, and magic for my heart. And music! Let’s not forget the music.
(The fact that I got a reserved seat in the front row each week didn’t hurt, either.)
I desperately wish I could show you every video I took from the REACH cabaret nights. You could cheer for Logan’s tongue-in-cheek rendition of Part Of Your World, melt over the incomprehensible adorableness of the company’s young actors singing Don’t Stop Believing, snort with laughter at the lyrics to Random Black Girl, shiver as Tricia belted out Natural Woman, and try not to cry over Matt’s spoken word pieces.
Sam and Logan, pre-mermaid magic.
But, alas, copyright is a stupid demon and I’m not allowed to post anything longer than 30 seconds. I do, however, have two clips that I can show you, both of which came from performances that made me dissolve with laughter.
Believe you me, you haven’t lived until you’ve seen the Bishop from Les Misérables, Laertes from Hamlet, and three other swanky men re-enact the Cell Block Tango from Chicago, complete with red lipstick.
Or until one of your temporary housemates has burst onto stage in drag as Patti LuPone to blast out Everything’s Coming up Roses, freak-out and all.
Thank you, USF performers, for giving me so many golden memories from your cabaret nights. You are nothing but amazingful glorious joy, and it makes me cry inside to know I’ll be missing the Disney night at the end of September.
To everyone else: if you find yourself in Cedar City during the Utah Shakespeare Festival, you must prioritise these cabaret nights. And if you decide to buy a coffee at The Grind and make it your dessert for the night? I highly recommend the salted caramel syrup.
It will make your night even sweeter.