One of my favorite things in life is a theater night out, complete with drinks, laughs, and the knowledge that you are indeed living your best life. It’s been almost a full year now without live theatre, and I’m getting a little twitchy. (If we’re being honest, twitchy was about 9 months ago, and there are no words for my current mental state, but that’s another article.) Luckily, the theatre world adapts, as do we all. I can now drink a bottle of wine in my flannel pajamas and cry while watching Les Mis every single day if I want to, and society doesn’t get to judge me. PANDEMIC, BABY! (Please, don’t try the aforementioned at home. I’m a professional.)
Fortunately for us, Mariposa Theatre is here to help inject some night life into your quarantine Valentine’s Day plans. Miss going to a great show with your special someone? There’s a Cabaret for that! Miss a girl’s night where there’s no judgement for your feelings? There’s a Cabaret for that! Or if you’re embracing the constant and perpetual mood swings the past year has brought us, do both! You’ll sleep secure in the knowledge that you are supporting local performance artists, and are generally an all-around awesome person. Go you. You deserve a cookie. And more wine.
Featuring The Sazerac Players, Mariposa is offering both a Love It! A Valentine Cabaret, as well as a Leave It! An Anti-Valentine Cabaret. Both shows will be available via a link (purchased through Mariposa’s Ticketing) emailed and available to stream at your convenience from Friday February 12th through Sunday February 14th.
I talked to Mariposa Theatre’s Executive Artistic Director, Caren Hearne, about the upcoming shows.
VB: For the uninitiated, who are The Sazerac Players?
Hearne: We’re a group of out-of-work actors [Michael Marra, Kelly Marra, Clay Glenny, Jeremy Czarniak, Jeanne Marshall, and Caren Hearne], who have worked together before. We started writing sketch comedy [in the Fall of 2020], and did a couple of shows at The Strand in Zelienople. We wrote some really fun stuff, and we were having really good time with it, so Mariposa ended up producing the December [Cabaret] show.
VB: It was so much fun.
Hearne: I’m glad you liked it. It was so funny, [but] when my husband sat with me and we watched it, he said we had too many theater jokes.
VB: You’re theater people! And you all looked like you were having so much fun.
Hearne: We all have a fairly good, extensive resumes. Michael [Marra] was on Broadway. He’s worked with Les Mis for years, played a number of roles. His wife Kelly was also a performer in New York. She did a lot of Off-Broadway stuff. And Jeremy [Czarniak] not only performs at The Strand, but also teaches dance.
VB: How have you all been adapting to the challenge of socially distanced theater?
Hearne: I have learned so much the last year about virtual performing. How to make it work, and what not to do. A lot about it. I wanted to be able to just run it like we normally would, and then just film that. I knew that wasn’t really gonna work. So, it is going to be pieced together. We did everything in front of a green screen [and] we’re gonna have cool backgrounds. We did do two of the numbers outside.
VB: I saw your teaser video! That looks very fun.
VB: Are there any love songs you banned from the set list?
Hearne: The girls’ duet from Rent was suggested. And I was like ‘We’ve done that! We’re not doing that [again]!’ Like, we did… we did that. There is such a plethora of material that, actually I think there are songs that we haven’t done for any of the Cabarets [before] in this. And there’s a couple of songs [that are] standalone pieces, and they’re from concept albums, or something that was written for a cabaret show in New York.
VB: Now I’m intrigued!
VB: Ok. I have a lot of feelings. Am I going to need a fresh box of Kleenex for the Anti-Valentine’s show, or is this a middle fingers up, Independent Woman mix?
Hearne: Oh, this is definitely a [*censored*] love.
VB: Content warning!
Hearne: [laughing] Yeah, the anti-Valentine’s was much more along the lines of ‘Oh, screw that! I am not about
the love stuff. Nothing ever goes right!’
VB: If you’re planning on streaming both shows, do you recommend them on the same night? Or should each of the emotional themes have their own day?
Hearne: I think that that would really be up to the audience members. Each show is going to be about 35 minutes long. So, if people wanted [they could] make an entire evening of it. Plus, we are having the Cocktail Corner [with bartender Mel Johnson] in each show, and there will be a different cocktail [for each performance]. We’ll be posting the recipes on the website.
VB: Oh, awesome! I was going to ask if there was anything we should put in our shopping carts, to prepare. So that’s perfect.
Featuring The Sazerac Players
Shows are streaming from February 12th -14th, with tickets for each show available via a Household (4 or more) option for $25, or a Pay What You Can option, minimum $5.
Check out videos from Cabaret past on Mariposa Theatre’s website.