The Savannah Stage Co. brings a one-night-only performance of Miss Cast Cabaret to the Andaz Salon on Thursday, but this evening will be anything but a typical cabaret.
Instead, the local talent get to work their acting chops on roles that are atypical for their age, voice type, race and even gender.
"The idea for Miss Cast Cabaret was born out of a desire to come up with something fresh for the audience and the performers. It's not only a question of what can we do that people will like, but what can we do that will inspire all of us to perform, as well?" said Lexi Balaoing, director of development for the Savannah Stage Co.
"I think we've all done a cabaret-style event here or there but this time we thought, 'Oh, wouldn't it be great to sing songs and perform characters that we never get to publicly? Yes! That is a challenge!' And we thrive on challenge and hard work."
Bryan Pridgen, the artistic director for Savannah Stage Co., said the roles may surprise attendees.
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"When you step out of type, you step out of your comfort zone. We strongly believe in pushing actors' limits and casting them in difficult roles - not the roles they are best suited for," Pridgen said. "Casting out of type consistently generates more engaging performances because it asks more of us as artists, not less. (You'll see) a large burly man singing Belle from 'Beauty and the Beast.' A female singing a leading man's ballad."
But don't expect only comedic elements. This event will also include "tears, truthful songs and a silent auction" Balaoing said.
The auction includes a variety of donations, including a four-course meal from Andaz's restaurant, 22 Square; a special one-night overnight package from Andaz; a farm experience and one-night stay at Hunter Cattle Company; a Gretsch Electric Guitar; Bread of the Month Club with Benjamin Davidson; hard-to-find magnum bottles of The Prisoner Wine 2009; and personal styling by Lisa's Pieces Vintage, just to name a few.
Attendees will also be able to enjoy thoughtfully sourced concessions, sample prohibition cocktails and wine and "witness some of Savannah's most talented individuals sing songs they might never get to perform again in front of an audience," Balaoing said.
Pridgen said this type of performance is what will help Savannah's art scene continue to grow.
"Savannah's art scene is what attracted us to Savannah. We could have gone anywhere, and we chose Savannah because the arts are supported here," he said. "We also chose it because there isn't enough of a scene, especially professional theater. We want Savannah to be competing with Atlanta's theatre scene - a lofty, but certainly reachable, goal."
Balaoing added that audiences can expect something new every time they attend a performance.
"I think that if you want to see a continuous thread of local art and culinary talent in this community, you have only to pay attention to these salons and get yourself to the Andaz. Every month is something new, something exciting and something the people who work for the Andaz are supportive and passionate about," Balaoing said.
Savannah Stage Co. members felt Andaz was the perfect location due to its recurring monthly salons, a commitment to provide an avenue for local artists and creatives to shine.
"Andaz Salon brings the creative spirit of Andaz to you through evocative content and inspiring live events," Balaoing said of the company motto for these salons. "Our companies have a lot in common."
"And don't forget! This is a snazzy event - as cabarets tend to be - so feel free to put on your Sunday best (break out that fedora) and let us do the rest!"