Friday, Jan. 10, 7 p.m.
Unitarian Universalist Congregation at Montclair, 67 Church St.
Performances by Bobby Axelrod, Gwen Bailey, Tal Benari, Amelia Brubaker, Aiden Champeau, Joe Colwell, Ryann Davis, Andie Earl, Ella Freund, Toby Fried, Noah Gale, Sarah Greene, Olivia Goldfinger, Mareau Hall, Shannon Huhn, Sudha Hurley-Heil, Maria Linietsky, Max Munoz, Theo Rosenburg, Minal Rosenblum, Shonita Srinivasan, Millie Thomas, Ginger Uhlfelder.
Hosted by Broadway/TV star Stephen DeRosa.
Benfitting St. Jude’s Research Children’s Hospital.
By GWEN OREL
Andie Earl wants to be a performer, and she’s well along the way: the Montclair High School sophomore is a member of Montclair’s School of Visual and Performing Arts, and will soon appear in SVPA’s “Fame.” She will also appear in SVPA’s “The Laramie Project,” and will be in an opera in Bogota, Colombia, written by a friend Earl met in a program at Juilliard.
But despite loving “Fame” the musical, fame, the goal, is not all Earl is working
With several other MHS students, she’s presenting “Caring Cabarets” this Friday, Jan. 10. The cabaret, featuring 24 acts of MHS performers, will benefit St. Jude’s Research Children’s Hospital.
Earl said she has performed in other cabarets for the past few years, and wanted to do something with other teens, for a cause.
“The mission is to provide an inclusive place for young performers to share their talents for the benefit of others,” Earl said.
The producers, including Earl, Mareau Hall, Millie Thomas, Shannon Huhn, and Sofia Saidi brainstormed what charity to benefit at the end of September. All of the producers are sophomores at MHS.
While the performers are young, not all are sophomores; some are even in college, she said. Many are from Montclair, but not all: one performer is from Long Island, and another is coming from New York City. The company ranges in age from 14 to 19.
Earl and the producers used social media to publicize audition notices.
“Everyone contacted friends and family. I emailed friends from my summer program, local schools, every music teacher I could find,” she said. “Any person to spread the word, any way we could get the word out.”
The format of the cabaret is similar to a talent show, Earl said, with individuals rehearsing
separately for their three minutes onstage, before a dress rehearsal.
The show will consist of duets, solo songs, original songs, Broadway songs, comedy and spoken word.
Among the offerings: Max Munoz will perform his original song “A New You;” Minal Rosenblum will perform spoken word poetry, “Born This Way;” Joe Colwell will sing “Ain’t No Sunshine;” and Earl will sing “Light in the Piazza.”
Everyone who auditioned by the deadline got in, Earl said — the goal is to be inclusive. To promote the event, the teens sent emails, promoting the cabaret on Facebook and Instagram.
Host Stephen DeRosa, who most recently appeared at Paper Mill Playhouse in “Chasing Rainbows,” is a family friend, she explained.
Organizing the production has been challenging for the young producers, who must balance homework and after-school activities. Scheduling has been particularly hard, Earl said.
But she’s looking forward to performing with friends she knows and new ones she’s met for a good cause.
The cabaret is inclusive, and the space is as well, she said. And if the performance can raise $4,000 or so, “that would be amazing.”