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Review of Prana’s Spring show, Life Is A Cabaret!

by Ceci LeBeau
May 11, 2019

Run, don’t walk, to see Prana’s evening of cabaret this weekend at Christ The King Lutheran Church in Holliston. The Friday evening show is sold out, but tickets are still available for the 5 and 7:30 shows on Saturday, May 11th. Some forty plus children from elementary school through high school put on a dazzling array of musical numbers. Songs from many of their previous shows make their appearance in new versions. Selections from Mulan, Shrek, Oliver, and Seussical were all gloriously redone. Songs from the 19th century, like from The Mikado by Gilbert and Sullivan, and from the earlier 20th century like the classic Gypsy ( “Wherever you go, whatever you do, we’re gonna go through it together”) blend seamlessly with newer hits like “A Million Dreams” from the movie The Greatest Showman. There are selections from children’s favorites, like Moana and Matilda, and ones from noticeably more adult shows like Cabaret, and from beloved TV shows like Glee and Fame. There are strutting classics like “Anything You Can Do, I Can Do Better” from Annie Get Your Gun, and a touching pop ballad, “Home,” accompanied by a ukulele. There is even a very original pairing of a song from Hamilton interwoven with a song from Dear Evan Hanson.

In a delightful twist, the show is more than a line up of songs. The children reveal the secret of how Anne Shirley managed to hit Gilbert over the head with her slate in Anne of Green Gables without cranial damage (My lips are sealed.) There also is a group of non-musical vignettes from that show, Orphan Train, The Girls of Salem and Toy School, all of which were done at Prana in the past, but with all new casting. Most songs come with a spoken introduction from the cast. There are touching moments, such as when one actress who has been acting at Prana for ten years charmingly shows a costume she wore in Shrek which would be too small for her now. One of the other older girls reveals that unlike many of the teens who have grown up doing Prana, this is her first show, and she shares that “it’s easy to become part of the Prana family.” The grand finale, the catchy song from Fame with the unforgettable lyrics (“I’m gonna live forever”) makes for a bang-up finish, with some serious gymnastics and dance moves. Everyone in the modest audience at the dress rehearsal was clapping and singing along once the disco ball started twirling. As always, I’m impressed by the genial grouping of the tall with the small, and how the older children clearly mentor the younger. The enthusiasm of these kids could light up the Boston skyline.

This is a 100% family friendly show, but ignore the advice given in Kander and Ebb’s Broadway show Cabaret at your peril -

“What good is sitting alone in your room?

Come hear the music play

Life is a cabaret old chum

Come to the cabaret!”

 

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Comments (1)

What a beautiful review, Ceci, thank you so much! We greatly appreciate the support for the arts from the Holliston Reporter!

- Roberta Weiner | 5/11/19 11:51 AM

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