As the lights descended in the Cabaret, a friendly voice welcomed students and their families to the Sapphire Swan, a fun-filled cruise ship led by Captain Armando and cruise director Tiffany. With families settling over their first course of salads and cheese and crackers, the energetic cast entered the Cabaret, striding between tables and greeting their dinner guests as part of the Marist theater group, MCCTA’s, fall experimental dinner theater show.
First introduced was the spunky cruise director Tiffany, played by the bubbly Emily Hart. Next, the audience is introduced to the newlywed couple, receiving laughs as the comedic Bryce, played by Kenny Lane, struggled to carry his wife Marci, played by Amelia Courtney, up the stage stairs. Following the couple is Doldrum, a medium with a brilliant British accent, played by veteran Mick Kastner. Then the audience was threatened at knife point by the cruise ship’s leading actress, Chloe Archibald, played by Jilian Fletcher, who took on the role of a pirate. Finally, the cast was rounded out by Captain Armando, played by Dan Owen, who graced the stage while flirting openly with audience members using his suave Spanish accent.
As events unfolded, over a delicious pasta dinner, the audience became active participants when a parent was pulled onto stage in one scene, and when the actors left the stage to call for audience participation. Sitting in one of the front tables a poor boy, seated right in front of me, turned bright red when the actress playing Tiffany almost sat on his lap, shuddering in terror from the ghost haunting the cruise ship. Also, in between acts, as the dutiful stage crew reset the props, the different characters approached the tables trying to convince the audience that they were not the murderers.
Singing, comedy, and a murder mystery ensured that there was something for everyone in this sold out production, and I was very glad to make it part of my Family Weekend experience. I can honestly say that after experiencing this dinner theater production, I cannot wait to see what else MCCTA has in store for this season!
— Shannon Dempsey