Musical Theatre’s Quick Fix for a Broken Heart?

By Victoria Remley

Broken hearts were possibly mended this Valentine’s Day by the Youngstown State University’s Musical Theatre Department. Those who saw “Cabaret Unrequited” on Feb. 15 may say that they were in love.

The DeYor Performing Arts Center was decorated with 1930’s art deco for the performance. Drinks, finger food and dinner were also provided.

Maria Denison, the director of “Cabaret Unrequited” and program coordinator of musical theatre, said the show was a post-Valentine’s Day celebration of love gone wrong and right.

“We’re there for you if things didn’t go right on Valentine’s Day,” she said.

Photo by J. Harvard Feldhouse/The Jambar

YSU musical theatre students put “Cabaret Unrequited” together, and Denison said the event gave people the ability to see what the students can do. The performance featured improvisations and many performers took their creations into the audience.  

“I think that’s what makes it exciting for the students and the audience because it’s a cabaret setting. So, they go into the crowd and sing to the people and work a room,” Denison said.

The show also raised money for theatre studies scholarships at YSU. Denison said she chose “Cabaret Unrequited” because it was showing close to Valentine’s Day and she wanted to allow her students to have another performance opportunity.

With the musical “Into the Woods” coming in April, Denison thought February would be the perfect time to have the cabaret.

Photo by J. Harvard Feldhouse/The Jambar

Adam Dominick, a freshman musical theatre major, said the focus of “Cabaret Unrequited” was unique.

“It’s kind of a funny concept, but it’s for the people who are not quite so in love with Valentine’s Day,” he said.

Dominick enjoyed preparing for the production because it was different. Songs from “Rent” and “The Little Mermaid” were performed, along with a few songs from the musical theatre department’s upcoming production “Into the Woods.”

Dominick joined the “Cabaret Unrequited” production to figure out what he enjoys and to get involved on campus, plus he loves performing.

“It makes me feel like nothing else does, so it’s nice to have an opportunity to just sing about things you don’t usually get to sing about,” he said.

Photo by J. Harvard Feldhouse/The Jambar

Aislinn Lowry, a sophomore musical theatre major, said the production included some fun, catchy numbers.

“It’s nice because it’s the day after Valentine’s Day, and we’re singing all of the unrequited and crazy and kind of off the beaten path love songs,” she said.

Lowry enjoyed working on the group numbers. As a musical theatre major, Lowry does not get to do many stand-alone pieces. The pieces taught her how to compose a cabaret-style show and how to work a piece.

Joe Farina from Albany, New York, said the production was really well done, and he thought it showcased a lot of fantastic talent and it was just an enjoyable evening.