Theater hosts first Café Night
December 16, 2009
Theater teacher Melanie McIntyre sits behind her desk co-worker Jeremy Ferman sits to her right. Students come in to show their talents. Senior Tamrha Echols reads a poem, sophomore Marcus Robinson sings an operatic version of ‘It’s My Life’ by Bon Jovi, and junior Madi Ward auditions as host of Legacy Theater’s first Café Night.
Ms. McIntyre adapted the idea for Café Night from her old campus. She and Mr. Ferman held the auditions as merely a formality as Ms. McIntyre let everyone who tried out on stage, wishing only to know the content the performers would present.
“Everyone who auditioned made it because everyone was good,” Ms. McIntyre said.
The night of the show arrives. A few audience members wait out in front of the PAC, more line the hallway next to theatre. Junior Emily Oakes and senior Hunter Canedy check tickets at the door. Seniors Clarke Rahrig, Nick Jimenez and other performers walk through the dense crowd of 75 on the stage, advertising the free food near the side including hot chocolate, muffins and cookies. As the spectators find their seats at the ten tables arranged on the stage, hosts Ward and Rahrig step into a dimmed light to start the show.
“Welcome to the First Annual Café Night,” Ward said.
After a brief skit performed by Ward and Rahrig, the first performers prepare their act. Seniors Chase Tremaine plays guitar to Nick Jimenez’ vocals for Dan in Real Life’s cover of ‘Let my Love Open the Door.” Halfway through Nick pauses, forgetting which verse comes next.
“I think it came out to our advantage,” Tremaine said, “When Nick gets embarrassed he’s the kind of person who can run with it.”
After regaining their composure and finishing the song the two return to their table on the left. Next comes junior Olivia Hebert and senior Darius Moore performing “Twas’ the Night Before Christmas” dressed as an old married couple. Hebert received the inspiration for the skit from her mother, who would put on a grandma act for Hebert when she was young.
“When I told my mom I was going to be a grandma, she did it again and it was the funniest thing I’ve seen in my life,” Hebert said.
Freshman Breanna Boe follows an interlude by Ward and Rahrig, in her plaid shirt and blue jeans she sings Norah Jones, “Don’t Know Why.” Tamrha Echols follows with a poem about technology.
“We are a slave to our own technology,” Echols said.
As Rahrig has trouble getting the stereo to work for the next performer freshman Cynthia Garza prepares. After singing her song, Christina Aguilera’s “Hurt”, Brazillian student junior Caio Sigmaringa performs a skit from “You’re a Good Man Charlie Brown.” Next come Hunter Canedy and senior Trevor Callarman. The two sing a choreographed song titled, “In Mansfield,” to the tune of a Jay-Z single.
“I was just listening to the Jay-Z song and thinking ‘God I want to do this for Mansfield,” Canedy said.
The guys receive a round of applause and a few shouts of encore. They take their seats allowing seniors Ashley Williams and Caleb Gutierrez to follow their performance. Williams reads a poem about the stages of love with Gutierrez chiming in with chords from time to time. When Williams finished her poem, junior Valerie Hausser plays a violin accompaniment to a graduation song. Then senior Miranda Curtis belts out a Dixie Chick song, “Sometimes I Wake Up.” Seniors Gregory Uribe and Kat Elvrom present a skit simply titled “Spit” in which Elvrom plays a professional spitter throwing a cup of ‘spit’ into the unbelieving Uribe’s face
“[The idea happened] because pretty much I was like, ‘Greg I have to audition for Café night and I have nothing, I want to do it with you, you pick a scene I don’t care what it is, I’ll do it,” Elvrom said.
Second to last performer freshman Christina Cranshaw acts out her monologue spanned from a class assignment about runaway teens. Then sophomore Marcus Robinson sings his version of Bon Jovi’s “It’s My Life,” lending a more operatic tone to the song.
“I was kind of nervous but through the second verse I thought “I can do this,” Robinson said.
The show ends. As the house lights come on, volunteers and theater students begin to stack chairs and fold tables. As audience members file out the door, they converse about their favorite act and hope they can come to the next Café Night.
“I liked everything, it was cool,” Robinson said, “I hope they do this again.”