Skilled student singers perform at Riff Raff show, raise money for Jewish Theatre Ensemble

Kira Lerner

Eleven students showcased their vocals Sunday night at Riff Raff, a cabaret-style fundraising event for the Jewish Theatre Ensemble’s winter mainstage, Side Show.

Matt Deitchman, one of the show’s two music directors, said performers were selected based on their involvement with Side Show or their vocal abilities.

“All of the singers involved are experts at riffing, or providing ornamentations on melodies,” the Communication sophomore said. “Think Christina Aguilera and you’ll get the idea.”

The show featured everything from pop to musical theater. Music Director Patrick Sulken sang Rascal Flatts’ “Bless The Broken Road,” Side Show Director RB Embleton belted “Defying Gravity” from Wicked and the show ended with four of the girls riffing to “Lady Marmalade.”

The purpose of the show was to raise money for the Jewish Theatre Ensemble and to showcase talented NU singers, said Sulken, a Bienen sophomore.

“We really want everyone to be comfortable with their performances and come away thinking they did a rock star job.”

Students have been rehearsing for the show for the past week, Deitchman said.

“All of the singers involved are fantastic musicians, so our rehearsals with them were more to iron out any difficult spots than to necessarily help them prepare for the actual singing of the songs,” he said.

Communication sophomore Carly Cantor performed “The Life of the Party” from the musical The Wild Party.

“I’m really excited to be involved in something like this,” she said. “Every song will be trying to outdo the other songs and it’ll be really fun.”

– Kira Lerner