The “Swing into Spring Cabaret” is the second of Cardinal Stage’s three-part cabaret series. Featuring solo and ensemble performances of swing and big band jazz tunes, the cabaret will be livestreamed on Crowdcast 7 p.m. March 26 and 27.
Director Kate Galvin said the cabaret will be a hybrid of live and prerecorded performances. Galvin said there will be a new host each night to introduce recorded performances and interact with the audience via chat.
“What we’re doing is reinterpreting these big band songs for an intimate performance,” Galvin said.
The cabaret was made to appeal to Cardinal Stage’s older patrons while keeping the youthful energy that was seen in their previous holiday cabaret for the younger patrons, Galvin said.
For the event, Gabe Gloden, managing director of Cardinal Stage, said the Cardinal Stage partnered with Cardinal Spirits to create a special cocktail called The Berries and the Bees, which can be ordered for pickup March 22 to March 27 from the Cardinal Spirits walk-up window located on South Morton Street. The cocktail is inspired by the Bee’s Knees cocktail that was popular during the swing era according to the Cardinal Stage news release.
Gloden said this was the perfect opportunity to partner and support a local business.
“Not only do we share a namesake, but they have one of the best cocktail programs in Bloomington,” Golden said. ”Their takeaway cocktail is the perfect, classy accompaniment to the vibe of Swing Into Spring.”
Galvin did not have much prior experience in film directing or directing theatre virtually, but said she gained experience from the holiday cabaret and the musical production “Ordinary Days.” This new experience has given her more comfort in directing this musical.
“It’s given me the confidence to stretch myself a little bit more in future projects,” Galvin said.
The performers were able to record each song together following safety protocols. Each performance has been edited together to make an hour-long special, complete with opportunities to interact with the hosts.
Performer Maggie Held said she felt comfortable with prefilming the performances as a vocalist, and is used to prerecording her vocal back-up tracks for musical productions. Her only concern throughout the process was learning to trust the crew while recording as she was unable to hear herself without monitors she usually has when singing and recording for live performances.
Held said she had already bonded with some of her cast and crew mates, as many of them had taken a theatre performance class with the Bloomington Academy of Film and Theatre last summer. She said she has enjoyed working with them during production, particularly with her duo with Rebecca Houghton.
“We’re all bringing our feel and style and collaboratively working together and complementing our styles and making it make sense with the music and theme,” Held said.
Tickets to the virtual event can be purchased from the Cardinal Stage website or over the phone and are sold on a per-household basis.