WAXAHACHIE — In an ensemble of wide-ranging talent, Waxahachie High School alumni are “getting the band back together” for a two-night show of improvised comedy and Broadway ballads.
“It’s neat to have them [the students] come in and basically give back to their community and their school that influenced them to be performers,” expressed Andy Reynolds, WHS Drama Director. “They never lost that love to perform, and they say what they’ve learned here at Waxahachie High School influenced them to become the adults they are today."
Reprising a revolving set of past roles, the cast will perform selections from their time being in the theater department, while also adding in a few new pieces.
“All the music they’re singing is from Broadway musicals, there’s going to be some improv in there, and there’ll be some audience participation stuff,” Reynolds explained.
“We’ll have desserts and drinks here if anybody wants it. It’s a night of 'PG' fun, reminiscing and listening to some great talent,” he further articulated.
Reynolds also mentions this be the first "theater in the round" show performed with the audience surrounding the stage in a more interactive atmosphere.
“We’ve never done theater like this, it’s a more intimate setting,” Reynolds explained the seating arrangements. “We decided that we were going to bring the audience up on stage and do this ‘cabaret’ kind of feel. So the audience will be able to interact on the stage with the actors.”
Reynolds also notes that the Broadway Cabaret will be the alumnus’ “hats off” production to the high school’s Fine Arts Center with the new high school under construction off of U.S. Highway 287 Bypass and U.S. Highway 287 Business.
“This will be the last time we’re in that facility because we’re going to the new school next year,” Reynolds confirmed.
What started in 2015 with the production of “One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest,” has now turned into a talented sequel of throwbacks to previous shows, reviving old numbers, and inviting the community to share a “moment in the arts.”
“The community should expect exceptional things from the musicals that happen here twice a year,” said Gail Harrel, former WHS music director and current music director of the Broadway Cabaret.
“So when they hear the alumni are coming back and have created all the shows that have won shows at DSM [Dallas Summer Musicals] or went to One Act Play to state, they’re expectations are high, and this cast will not disappoint them,” she guaranteed.
From DSM nominated actress, Marissa Mueller, reprising a song from her high school role as Kate from “Kiss Me Kate” to Cole Miller belting the ballad of “If I Can’t Love Her” from “Beauty and the Beast,” the student reunion will be an experience for the community to remember.
“It’s very nostalgic to be back,” acknowledged Cole Miller, 2011 graduate and performer. “I haven’t been in this theater on this stage for about five years.”
“The community should only expect a professional outcome. These people are working hard and are putting a great show together,” he complimented his fellow cast members. “They will be entertained and able to look at what we have growing here in our hometown.”
“Everyone got to pick their solos for this,” added Marissa Mueller, 2013 graduate and actress. “So people are getting to sing what they want to sing and show off their talent. We’ll have some new stuff as well as old stuff, and a lot of familiar faces.”
Reynolds further assures that the show will be a hit, due to the professionalism and talent his former students.
“The community can expect to hear some really great music and probably be wondering why these kids aren’t on Broadway already,” Reynolds chuckled. “They sound fantastic, and some of them have gone on to do other things or are in school, but they never lost their first love – the theater.”
“This show is going to blow the audience away, and it’s just a testament to Waxahachie ISD because they have supported the arts for years. We have a district that embraces and supports that talent and lets these kids do what they love to do, and it just blows my mind,” he acknowledged. “So, it’s going to be a fun night.”
The Waxahachie High School alumni present Broadway Cabaret this Friday and Saturday, July 28-29, on 1000 North Dallas Highway 77. With limited seating, tickets will be sold at the door at 6 p.m. for $10 with complimentary desserts and drinks. For more information about the show, email Andy Reynolds at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Chelsea Groomer, @ChelseaGroomer