“Of course there is bound to be some drama, but that always keeps things interesting,” said Denise Pullen, Student Theater Arts Council (STAC) advisor, about this year’s fifth annual Ca-BOO-ret held Sunday evening.
The event—intended for all majors at Seton Hill University (SHU)—was filled with the song and style from Breakfast at Tiffany’s to individual pieces like The Ballad of Sarah Berry. But what does it take to put on such a fun, costume-filled, musical show?
“[The performers] always seem to procrastinate,” said Evan Bellas, the musical accompanist for four years and sacred music major at SHU. “I’ve even had someone hand me music 10 minutes before hand.”
This year the acts of the evening all turned in their sheet music on-time, if they had any.
Some performances, such as ‘Swag’ performed by Paige Overly and Taylor Puc, were never on Broadway or the silver screen. Played from a YouTube video on their laptop, they danced with perfect synchronization while dressed like Justin Bieber’s doubles.
“It often surprises [me] the types of songs the students pick,” said Pullen. “We get to see them doing songs they might not normally perform. It’s exciting.”
But not all performances went so smoothly, despite preparations.
“I can perform when the lights are only on me, not the audience,” said Brittany Dillot, SHU freshman and first-time performer, who stopped her number ‘Diamonds are a Girl’s Best Friend’ from Gentlemen Prefer Blondes half-way through. “I knew all the lyrics, but forgot the moment I looked into my voice instructor’s eyes.”
Noah Telford, freshman theatre arts major at SHU, watched the show with slight disenchantment.
“I didn’t even know you could bring your own music,” he said. “I dropped last-minute because of it.”
Costumes also filled both the stage and the crowd, without its own share of concerns.
“I called my mom and said ‘hey, could you make me a Wednesday Addams dress,” said Barbara Lawson, freshman musical theatre major at SHU, holding the iconic outfit slung over a hanger. “She brought it to me this weekend. It’s all hand-made.”
Lawson performed ‘Pulled’ from The Addams Family Musical earlier that evening, holding an impressive straight face the entire time, even as the audience laughed at the strange, Addams-worthy lyrics.
“The song is about her falling in love with a boy who is not like she is. He is kind of normal. I haven’t even seen the whole musical, I just love the songs,” Lawson said about her selection. “I only practiced it a few times with the accompanist.”
Dressed as Elliot from E.T. the Extra Terrestrial, Lauren Grasser sang ‘Home’ while using Toto from a previous SHU show wrapped in a tan blanket as E.T. itself. Not to be outdone, Grasser held two empty toilet rolls to the side of a box and pretended to bike across the moon her entire number.
‘Haunted’ of Taylor Swift fame didn’t have so much to do with the costume as it did the friendship behind it in order for it to be stage-ready.
“We already knew the song, all we did was jazz it up,” said Kristina Riggins, SHU junior, dressed as Belle from Beauty and the Beast.
“We made it acoustic and figured out some harmonies,” added Riggins’ SHU senior and partner guitar player Josh Daisly, while wrapped in a rainbow cape.
Riggins and Daisly have been inseparable since Riggins’ freshman year, when a mutual friend introduced them.
“We hung out the entire next day like we had known each other for years,” said Riggins. “And we both love Taylor Swift, so it’s only natural that we sing ‘Haunted’ for the Ca-Boo-ret.”