By Belle Martinelli
At the microphones from left to right, Rachel Skennion, Jenna Hernandez and Chris Walker performing “Woe is Me” from “The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee” (Photo by Belle Martinelli)
Students and families gathered in the Humanities Theater for the opening night of Purchase’s first annual Halloween Cabaret Show.
Directed by student Matt DeScalzo, students Cat Posillico, Kim Crossway, Kirry Kaufer, Chris Walker, Olivia Armon, Eli Bettmann, Link Hagerty, Jenna Hernandez, Rachel Skennion, and Hope Lowery performed songs from popular musicals, like “Shrek the Musical,” “Beetlejuice,” “Cabaret,” and more, while dressed in costumes.
Originally, they were set to put on “The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee,” these spellers were left in a lurch when the rights for the musical were not secured. After a discussion with her sister, Posillico, a junior arts management major and theater and performance minor, pitched the idea of a Halloween Cabaret.
“She [Posillico’s sister] was kind of like ‘Dude, you got to, you got to let the show go on,’” said Posillico. “When it comes down to it, it must go on.”
The spellers had been rehearsing for the bee since February of last semester. A week before the show’s set opening date, they were informed the show would not be put on. They then began prepping for the Halloween Cabaret Posillico pitched in its place.
“It was kind of stressful because we did it in just one week,” said Crossway, junior theater and performance major. “We had issues with our show that was actually supposed to go up, and we were like well let’s do something because we feel like our time was wasted.”
Kim Crossway singing “Mother Knows Best” from “Tangled” (Photo by Belle Martinelli)
Despite the short preparation time, these spellers put on a show to remember. Dressed to the nines in Halloween costumes and apparel, they joined together for an opening number of “Time Warp” from the Halloween cult classic “Rocky Horror Picture Show” for their first show on Friday, Oct. 13. Their second performance was the following night.
Kaufer, a junior creative writing major, sang “Poor Unfortunate Souls” from “The Little Mermaid,” and “Ready Set Not Yet” from “Beetlejuice” with junior theater and performance major, Hagerty. Hagerty also stunned the audience with their rendition of “Michael In The Bathroom” from “Be More Chill.”
Kaufer (left) and Hagerty (right) belting “Beetlejuice” while dressed in their Halloween attire (Photo by Belle Martinelli)
“It felt like a labor of love,” said Kaufer. “I feel like between all of us there was a lot of heart [put] into it and we were all so supportive of each other. It was such a nice experience and I'm glad we got to have the satisfaction of doing a show.”
Lowery (dressed as “a mouse, duh!”) stunned the crowd with her opera singing in “The Girls in 14g,” performed with Posillico.
From left to right, Lowery and Posillico argue-singing on stage as annoyed neighbors (Photo by Belle Martinelli)
Junior theater and performance major Walker, dressed as Freddy Krueger, was joined by Bettmann, a sophomore theater and performance major, in a show-stopping, standing ovation-worthy performance of “Take Me Or Leave Me” from “Rent The Musical.” Walker also performed “Proud of Your Boy” from “Aladdin The Musical.”
Walker in his Freddy Kruger attire singing “Proud of Your Boy” (Photo by Belle Martinelli)
According to Purchase’s spellers, opening night was nerve-racking. But, with the help of an excited crowd, they soon realized all their work wasn’t for nothing.
“It was so entertaining to see [the crowd] react to what we were doing,” said Crossway. “It was like “Oh my God, it’s a real thing!”
From left to right, students Chris Walker, Olivia Armon, Kirry Kaufer, Cat Posillico, Kim Crossway, Eli Bettmann, Link Hagerty, Jenna Hernandez, Rachel Skennion and Hope Lowery taking their final bow after performing the closing number, “The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee”
Pre-putting on the cabaret, the spellers put in for the rights to “The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee,” so Purchase students be on the lookout to see your favorite spellers in action again!
“Yesterday I had tears in my eyes because I was so proud of all of us,” gushed Posillico. “It was just so rewarding, it really was. I feel like it was a crazy process but I’m glad we could all connect over that.”