Dolphin Show Freshman Cabaret “Songs of Schwartz” to premiere April 15


Photo courtesy of Declan Collins

Promotional artwork for “Songs of Schwartz.” The Freshman Cabaret will premiere April 15th at 7 p.m.

Olivia Alexander, Assistant Arts & Entertainment Editor

The Dolphin Show’s upcoming Freshman Cabaret, Songs of Schwartz, will feature the work of Stephen Schwartz, lyricist and composer of several Tony-award winning musicals, and is slated to premiere on April 15.

The cabaret will promote “Pippin” — one of Schwartz’s most notable works, which the 78th Annual Dolphin Show will bring to the virtual mainstage later this quarter — and showcase the talents of 16 Northwestern freshmen. During the event, which is streaming on YouTube, an emcee will lead viewers through an evening of prerecorded performances.

Director and Communication freshman Declan Collins said the event came about after speaking with another freshman and assistant producer on “Pippin.” The Dolphin Show wanted to involve freshmen in their process, and Collins pitched Songs of Schwartz as the way to do so. 

Collins said he directed plays during high school, but had never done a musical. Directing Songs of Schwartz, he said, has allowed him to “dive into directing” and coach performers on songs he’s grown up listening to. 

“It’s really fun to look at these songs that I love… these shows that I listened to more times than I could possibly count,” Collins said. “It was fun to look at those songs in a more analytical perspective, or a directorial perspective, and really break (them) down and take them beat by beat.” 

Collins said he often leaves rehearsals with the catchy songs stuck in his head. Communication freshman Alondra Rios will perform one of these songs at Thursday’s cabaret.

Rios said she thinks of Schwartz’s music as “iconic” and praised “Godspell,” her favorite Schwartz musical. Rios added that Schwartz is talented at incorporating storytelling into his music, and she is grateful for the opportunity to perform his work.

“(Schwartz’s) music is very profound, not only in the lyrics, but also in the orchestration,” Rios said. “There’s such complexity to it, (and) I think the music itself is telling a story beyond just the lyric.”

Communication freshman Jordan Muhammad will also be performing in the cabaret.

Muhammad said cabaret rehearsals have been a sort of “affinity space” for freshmen to work with one another. 

“I think it’s really nice to create class-specific spaces and provide an opportunity for that specific bonding,” Muhammad said. 

Collins said he also appreciated the cabaret’s capability to spotlight freshmen. He said the Dolphin Show produces a number of special events each year, and he is glad the Freshman Cabaret is one of those. 

The cabaret provides this year’s Dolphin Show freshmen with a unique space to showcase their work, which Collins said helps incorporate the class into the theater community. 

“We haven’t really had that much opportunity to find ourselves and have our moments,” Collins said. “I’m really excited to share the talents of all the cast members. I think it’s going to be very exciting for them to share their talents with the rest of the Northwestern theatre community.” 

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