by Kylie Schultz
It is always nice to be reminded of how Lyric Arts plays such an important role in the community and in the larger Metro area arts scene. Friday night at the Cabaret fundraising event, I got to hear so many stories from actors who have both grown up being involved with Lyric Arts, and some who are new to Lyric Arts. All the stories shared a similar sentiment—Lyric Arts is like a home for them. It's a community, an artistic outlet, and a welcoming place for them to experience and be a part of high quality theater productions. In addition to telling their stories, Lyric Arts actors old and new sang their favorite Broadway songs. These performances completely illustrated what amazing talent Lyric Arts provides.
Each performance was as perfectly executed as the last and ranged from comedic to dramatic. Every performance gave me chills. Angela Henderson (formerly of Grammy award-winning group Sounds of Blackness, by the way) gave a sultry and amazing performance of "Whatever Lola Wants" from Damn Yankees, followed by an astounding and heart wrenching performance by Molly Jo Hall of "If Someone Like You" from Jekyll and Hyde. Lyric Arts' regulars Nykeigh Larson and Kyler Chase were nothing short of brilliant as we've all come to know in their performances, and Katherine Strom delighted with what I thought was a flawless execution of "Gimme Gimme" from Thoroughly Modern Millie.
We also learned about the futures of many of Lyric Arts' younger performers who have been with Lyric Arts and will be leaving to pursue the performing arts around the country. They are an excellent example of the quality of Lyric Arts' educational programs which provide much needed arts education, workshops, and performance opportunities during a time when arts funding for schools is sadly being cut short. I come for the high quality productions, but I am a proud supporter of Lyric Arts because of these educational programs and the wider impact the company provides for the youth and community.
Lyric Arts' Cabaret 2015 event does not disappoint by way of performances, but it is an excellent time to show appreciation for the company and everything it does. If you haven't gone in the past, attend in the future and enjoy the show (which is amazing), but don't forget that this performance is about so much more. Thank you Lyric Arts for bringing such vibrant and quality theater to the Metro, I can't wait to see what your future brings!
Kylie Schultz is a Minneapolis local and an Arts Ambassador with Theoroi, a young professionals group of the Schubert Club in St. Paul, MN.