Cabaret at The Commons will continue its entertainment series through the summer season, organizers said.
Broadway and television performers mark the latest additions to the series, which is averaging more than 250 people per show, according to the Columbus Indiana Philharmonic. The local orchestra organizes the Columbus concerts through a talent-sharing arrangement with The Cabaret in Indianapolis.
The Cabaret at The Commons summer lineup features:
Krysta Rodriguez, “The Addams Family” on Broadway and “Smash” on TV, June 29.
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Kyle Dean Massey, Broadway actor in “Pippin” and television actor in “Nashville,” July 27.
Santino Fontana, from Broadway’s “Brighton Beach Memoirs” and TV’s “Crazy Ex-Girlfriend,” Sept. 28.
The orchestra launched the series in January 2015, with performances in the upper level of The Commons at 300 Washington St.
Although a number of the local cabaret performers have performed with orchestras all over the country, they have said they consider the cabaret setting to be more intimate, allowing them to be closer physically and to interact easier with the crowd.
Tony and Grammy Award winner Billy Porter mingled and high-fived with a crowd of nearly 300 on April 6 during the most recent Columbus cabaret show. Philharmonic statistics show that 20 percent of that audience included first-time attenders such as Kyle Hendricks, who enjoyed a front-row table with friends from Columbus Young Professionals courtesy of a local business.
Hendricks mentioned that he is impressed that the cabaret series highlights top national talent “that we don’t normally get to see in Columbus.” He said one element that would spur him to return was the personal nature of the performance, including Porter’s exuberance and energy that connected with the crowd.
An added feature for some of the cabarets has been artists’ willingness to offer master classes or visit local high school choral classes to offer students’ guidance. Laura Osnes visited a Columbus North High School class and offered student critiques in November 2015 and Johnny Rodgers visited several North classes in January.
“They’re also passing on their knowledge to our area young people,” said Katelyn Ice, the Philharmonic’s marketing director. “That’s really cool for the students.”
New shows added to the Cabaret at the Commons series are:
June 29 — Krysta Rodriguez, from “The Addams Family” on Broadway and “Smash” on TV.
July 27 — Kyle Dean Massey, from “Pippin” on Broadway and “Nashville” on TV.
Sept. 28 — Santino Fontana, from Broadway’s “Brighton Beach Memoirs” and TV’s “Crazy Ex-Girlfriend.”
All Cabaret at The Commons shows begin at 7:30 p.m. — with doors opening at 6:30 p.m. — at The Commons, 300 Washington St. in Columbus. Tickets are $20 for a back section of chairs as general seating, $35 for a middle section of table seating called preferred, and $55 for VIP closest-to-the-stage table seating, which include an option to attend a post-show meet-and-greet.
Drinks and meals also are available.
Information: 812-376-2638 or thecip.org.