Arty Smith: Cabaret 2015 thrilling
Being in Cabaret has been my dream for six years. In 2010, when I had witnessed Steamboat Winter Olympic mania firsthand, a hysterical Cabaret skit had an Arnold Schwarzenegger clone giving a group of very pregnant mothers a series of positive affirmations to help their embryonic journeyers become future Olympic champions. I was hooked.
Last week, I reached my goal. First, I spent five crazy, whirlwind days of intense rehearsals for Cabaret 2015. In the midst of this experience, I remember saying that I’d never rehearsed for a show for less than a month. A Cabaret and Pirate Theater veteran replied, “That’s funny; I’ve never rehearsed for more than a week.” Welcome to Cabaret 2015.
I was intensely nervous during the rehearsals. Previous to the show, our two fine directors, Paula Salky and Katy Kriz, had asked me if I could sing or dance. I replied that if I were placed far enough back on the stage, I guess I could. They had also told the entire cast that if they thought someone wasn’t doing a good enough job, they might have to remove them. I signed on for that, too. It seemed only fair.
I was dancing and singing in the background of the few skits I was in, and I had very few lines, so it all should have been quite easy. But I was really afraid that if I messed up, I’d be on the sidelines watching the show again instead of being in it.
That’s how I had spent Cabaret 2014. After five long years on the market, we finally sold our ranch on the Front Range and were packing for our move to become full-time Steamboat residents. Although I could not commit to being here for rehearsals and multiple shows, I was able to volunteer backstage for one show. It was a step in the right direction.
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This year, when we got to the actual shows, I was electrified. To work hard on a skit or a song and hear such strong audience reactions was truly gratifying. At the beginning of Act 2, I was in my first skit, as a member of the City Council.
At the first show on Thursday, as we were leaving the stage, the audience exploded in applause. I got a huge lump in my throat and my eyes filled. It had been such a long road for me to that moment.
Each of the six shows for Cabaret 2015 was thrilling for me. I realized as I listened and watched that this was a show that no one outside of Steamboat could truly appreciate. It was a huge inside joke, and our audiences definitely got it.
I was rewarded with an overwhelming sense of community, which was enhanced by the fact that the show is a fundraiser for the Steamboat Springs Arts Council. This feeling of community involvement was definitely something that I was searching for when we made the plunge to move here.
The extra special bonus for me was the cast. They were warm and friendly and encouraging. They were also some of the most interesting and creative people I had met since coming to Steamboat. Each was unique and special, a few a bit quirky, like me. They all now have a special place in my heart, and I anxiously await the time when I will see some or many of them in the future.
I thought being in Cabaret was going to be all about fun and laughter. For me, Cabaret 2015 wound up being a lot more than that.
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