A variety of local singers and musicians, as well as members of an Escanaba High School jazz band combo, performed a range of songs inspired by spring and swing at the Spring Swing Cabaret Friday, April 15.
In the spirit of swing, the cabaret featured some upbeat songs, said Christina Carlin, Bonifas special events coordinator. Other songs celebrated the romance often associated with spring. Theresa Klein, Bonifas board president, for example, performed “Kissing a Fool” and Frank Sinatra’s “Summer Wind.”
Cabarets, a “classic and old-world” tradition that should stay alive, strengthen the community, showcasing and bringing together local talent and allowing audience members to gather to talk and even sing along during part of the show, said Carlin.
The “cozy little tables,” so close to the small studio stage, and good food help create an atmosphere “like a little nightclub, small and intimate,” with performers close to the audience, which listeners love, said Klein, who has been performing in Bonifas cabarets for about nine years.
At each cabaret, said Carlin, the performers’ love of song, how they “put their hearts into it,” makes the evening fun and the music impressive.
At a cabaret, there’s “always a surprise,” said Klein, whether an unexpected song, type of music, or a new performer, so that’s one of the joys of attending, though many enjoy hearing old favorites as well.
Due to the variety, cabarets are a wonderful “opportunity to get introduced to music you might not always listen to and expand your horizons,” said Rick Kenyon, Bonifas custodian, who will sing at the cabaret.
The cabaret is a wonderful option for couples seeking a no-stress, low-cost date-night, Carlin said.
“It’s a really great way to … enjoy a nice, relaxing night out with no pressure,” she said, to unwind from a stressful week and transition into a relaxing weekend. Cabarets are informal and relaxed, Klein agreed, not “dressy or glittery,” almost as intimate as going to a party at someone’s home.
Light snacks will be provided, and attendees can bring their beverage of choice. Many choose to support local downtown businesses such as Leigh’s Garden, stopping by to buy a bottle of wine before the show, said Carlin.
If residents have never attended a cabaret, said Kenyon, they “need to get out and try the cabaret experience,” perhaps as a fun, relaxing night out with a group of friends, and they will, he believes, be “hooked.”