Tag Archives: Performance

Lights, Music, Action: Cabaret

On March 6th, 2020 at 7:30pm the Tryon Festival Theatre presented a musical performance entitled ” Cabaret“. This performance brought about musicality, theatre, and dance while trying to portray some of the issues surrounding the time frame, WW1.

Written by: Lydia Amezcua Ramirez

Waiting for the performance to begin while others read more about the performance.

Musicality

In the performance there was many ways of expressing expressing character mood/desire. The songs and music helped carry those messages out. The music and songs in Cabaret worked to give a sense of the world of the play by subtly bringing in issues that all tie in with Cabaret. For example, a character who came from America would go to the Kit Kat Club to drink and enjoy life in Berlin, Germany because that is what most people there seemed to do, live life while partying and still having to find a way to pay rent on time. The Kit Kat Club seemed to be the place where people went to enjoy music and drink, but all of that disappeared by the end of the play when there were no more performers or people in the Kit Kat Club. This was due to the beginning of WW1 when the Nazis took power and streets/places were abandoned.

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The host of the night alongside a grand piano player

The music and songs in Cabaret also worked to give a sense of the dreams of the characters through the beat and emotion that went with the music and songs they sang. For example, one of the characters in the play was a performer in the Kit Kat Club and one of the songs she sang was an upbeat one involving not telling her mother about her being a performer because she was chasing her dream. Towards the end of the play she ended up staying in Berlin, Germany regardless of what was going on around that time frame because she wanted to continue chasing her dream of being a grand performer. The song she sang was more emotional that time around with not as much music behind her that way more emotional tone would be coming from her part.

The host of the night performing in the Kit Kat Club along with other dancers

Set Transitions

In Cabaret, the sets would transition as would any play to show the distinct parts of the Berlin setting. In between each transition, songs would be performed by the characters in the play and if not them then by the host of the night along with his background dancers. The sets of the performance included:

  1. The Kit Kat Club, where performers would perform and others went there to drink.
  2. A Railroad Carriage, where the American coming to Berlin would travel to and back.
  3. Schneider’s Apartment, the landlord lady.
  4. Cliff’s Apartment, the American novelist from America.
  5. Schultz’s Fruit Shop, the person who liked the landlord lady.
  6. The Void, an empty abandoned place.

Overall, Cabaret was a mesmerizing performance filled with a variety of music and performance style that left goosebumps on my arms. What I liked most about the performance was all the energy in the characters that remained up to when the Nazis took control. Life as they knew it would change forever because life was not something that one could spend partying without worries. It became a means of survival and the reality of the world they began to live in.

Cabaret: A Story of Love, Dreams, and Reality

A story that begins with a novelist seeking inspiration takes lots of twists and turns as he settles in Berlin, Germany. There he meets people who affect his life and influence his next story.

By Moises Sedano

The entrance to the Krannert Center where the performance took place.
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Edward Huang Final Reflection- Fall 2019

An overview of my experiences this semester

Written by Edward Huang

Buddy Guy Prepares to enter the stage

The first performance I went to was a performance by Buddy Guy and his band. I did not know of him before, but I definitely can’t forget his name now. He brought an energy that was fitting for his legacy in the jazz world. I was completely encaptivated with his ability to control the auditorium. Not to mention, his technical skills were amazing and he did a good job with having a conversation with the audience. In the end, his passion was what stuck out to me.

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[MAKEUP EVENT] Piecing Together the Stories

Written by Nicole Miao

People seem especially willing to enjoy orchestra performances—when I walked into KCPA, I found that it was as crowded as the last time I attended the performance of Chicago Symphony Orchestra, while tonight the main character would be St. Louis Symphony Orchestra. Its performance was very unique—the works were so narrative. I’m sure that even if you are not so familiar with classical music, you cannot help but keep enjoying after hearing the first note and will never feel bored.

Before the Performance
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Makeup- Classic Carol Concert truly flawless!

Author: Basith A. Syed

The Carol Concert Book with all the carols.

In an environment where I started smoking, drinking and parting every day it was extremely cathartic being able to experience a flawless performance. I know everyone is entitled to there own opinion and their experience. This blog is solely going to be my experience and how the performance affected me.

My favorite carol and by far the most splendid poetry I heard from the book of Carols.

There are many reasons why I enjoyed this performance. First of all, I was given a free ticket at the ticket booth and I didn’t even have to identify my self. And as we were waiting to get into the show I met Catlin who is extremely pretty and was so down to earth and I had an amazing voice.

For me personally, I really enjoyed the show emotionally and it meant a lot to me seeing the performers and the audience be so dedicated to singing the carols. Furthermore, I felt so guilty about all the promises that I had broken, all the money I spent on useless things, people that I let down and for wasting a year of my life to instant gratification. And as I was listening to “O Come, All ye faithful” I had this epiphany that was telling me to straighten out my priorities and it is never too late to change. For me, I will never forget this Carol and I will most certainly go to another one whenever I am feeling hopeless.

Unfortunately, I was told not to take pictures but this is how the stage looked.

Farewell to FAA 110

Looking back on a semester of amazing performance and personal inspection.

written by Allison Spillane

This class was a total wildcard in my schedule at the beginning of the year. I had no idea what to expect, but what I ended up getting is something that I know that I can look back upon fondly. This class really opened me up to resources for art and creativity on campus that I don’t think I would have know about otherwise. From KAM to KCPA to the Spurlock Museum, these are all amazing places on campus that I was introduced to by this class, and I cannot fully express my gratitude for that. Being a part of such a great group of people enjoying some amazing performances really helped me feel welcome and at home at the University of Illinois.

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Makeup: FACT Variety Show

Written by Danielle Herrera

A multitude of performers including UIUC’s Filipino Cultural Dance group showcase a wide range of talents at the Foellinger Auditorium.

On November 9, 2019 the University of Illinois’s Philippine Student Association held its 27th Annual FACT conference in Urbana, Champaign. FACT, or Filipino Americans Coming Together, is a large event that invites Filipinos from colleges across the Midwest to celebrate their culture and heritage. It is a 3 day long conference that involves a variety of different workshops, social gatherings, and an infamous variety show. The FACT variety show provides different universities the opportunity to showcase their talents, whether it be dancing, singing, or even reciting poetry. In addition, famous special guests are invited to perform making the variety show an event that many anticipate to attend.

Women villagers attacking abats (center)

This year, I was able to participate in FACT’s variety show as a part of Barkada, UIUC’s cultural Filipino dance group. We performed a dance that depicted ancient creatures called abats, supernatural beasts originating from Filipino folklore. Abats are said to be beautiful maiden by day, but monstrous creatures by night; with large bat-like wings and sharp fangs, abats were thought to roam around villages reeking havoc amongst the people. Our dance portrayed a story in which 3 maidens are poisoned and transform into abats, but are later fought and killed by the the men and women villagers. The whole performance traditional Filipino garments, sticks, spears, and much more.

Dancers backstage after performance

I think this dance was a fun but challenging experience. I have never participated in Filipino cultural dance before, but I was eager to learn more about my heritage and my roots. Initially, I struggled maintaining the specific postures that are essential to most traditional Filipino dances such as this one; for example, it is required that you keep your chin raised at a 90 degree angle with your eyes pointed downwards so the whites of the eyes are not seen. This posture is necessary for all women to sustain throughout the entire performance, with only a few exceptions. Small details such as these were enforced in order to accurately portray Filipino cultural dancing, and ultimately play a large role in traditional dance competitions such as the Battle of the Bamboo (which Barkada competes in every year). Overall, this performance required months of practices and rehearsals; however it was worth it, because not only did it teach me more about Filipino cultural dancing but through the process I was able to meet an amazing group of people and share a wonderful experience with them.

For more information about FACT, visit https://fact.psauiuc.org/.

Fleeting Memories

Theater Re’s performance wows the crowd.

written by Allison Spillane

braving the cold to get to the show!

Memory is an integral part of being human. Our identity is based on our personal experiences, in our own growth and changes. Theater Re’s performance shows a take at what it can be like to have a personality interrupted by memory loss. This was particularly interesting to me because I have family members who have trouble remembering from age-related mental deterioration, and it was both insightful and moving to see that experience from another angle. 

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Actions Speak Louder Than Words. Literally.

Written by: Benjamin Tan

Bringing the audience on a journey of past memories

The Nature of Forgetting is literally the best performance I have seen in my entire life. It was phenomenal. No words can describe how stupendous this performance is. But here is the best I can describe the entire performance in words.

In the beginning, the father was being reminded by the daughter to wear his purple coat with the red tie at the left side of the pocket. As the father approaches his wardrobe, his memory starts to get distorted. This was done by the amazing audio where it was distorted and was blurred by the daughter’s words.

Daughter reminding the father to wear his jacket

The father started to take many other clothes and each clothes brought a certain past memory of the father’s life. This was displayed by the different clothing that was used in each scene. Some examples will be back in the days where he was in high school as a student. The clothing was the high school uniform. As the memory progress, the clothing switch to the academical dress which was his graduation days and it switch to the father holding the long stick which signifies him being a high school teacher and the tuxedo that represents the wedding with his wife to be.

One thing that I really amazed is how all the father’s clothing was extremely similar but just adding an extra prop such as the stick and the flowers could change the entire outfit.

Apart from the clothing, the music! Oh, my goodness, the music was FANTASTIC. Firstly, it was only a 2-person live band. The instruments consist of just the drums, keyboard, and a violin. Just 3 instruments added so many dynamics and colors to the entire performance. How it transits from memory to present was when they use a synthesizer of the keyboard to make those whiny sounds from soft to loud and at its climax, the band will stop playing and the father is back to the present.

Highschool cycling scene. Chasing after the girl of his dreams

Unfortunately, I did not attend the performance for Home. Hence, I will focus on discussing the Nature of Forgetting.

Some of the distinctive ways the production represents the life event were how at the beginning, there is not much dialogue, and this puzzles the audience to want to know what is going on. This makes the audience want to lean in and focus on the entire performance to find out what is the whole performance about.

One of the most puzzling scenes was how the father was chasing after his wife to be and each scene from the cycling, the graduation and the wedding it all ends up with the both of them sitting to next each other and his wife to be is avoiding him and then there is a loud honk which brings the father back to the present. Only at the fourth repetition, I finally understood that scene which was his wife pass away due to a traffic accident and that accident could have been how the father got his dementia.

Puzzling repetitive scene. Father sits next to his wife to be and she is avoiding him.

My favorite scene was the ending scene. All his cherished memories came to life where his best friend, mother, and daughter came to celebrate his birthday. The favorite part of the scene was when all the lights slowly dimmed off and all that was left was the birthday candles and the father blew the candles away. What a remarkable way to end the performance.

Happy Birthday!

Overall, I will give the play 10/10! Definitely recommend everyone to go and watch the play!  

The Nature of Forgetting

Written by Ashleigh Cox

Tom expresses his frustration!

The Nature of Forgetting is a powerful play about a man’s memory fading with Alzheimer’s and how it appears from his point of view. Theatre Re performed the piece at Krannert Center for the Performing Arts on November 12th and it was quite a memorable event!

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