Vibrant Colors Collective trailblazes with inaugural winter cabaret Pa’ Lante


Photo courtesy of Joanne Haner

Northwestern’s only multicultural student theatre board VC2 debuted its inaugural winter cabaret Jan. 13.

Olatunji Osho-Williams, Digital Managing Editor

In a packed Shanley Pavilion, Vibrant Colors Collective finished its three-show run of Pa’ Lante on Saturday to roaring applause.

VC2, Northwestern’s only multicultural student theatre board, debuted its inaugural winter cabaret Friday with 7 and 10 p.m. performances. Pa’ Lante wrapped up with a 7 p.m finale Saturday.

Pa’ Lante’s 15-song setlist featured hits from musical theatre favorites such as Hamilton, Encanto and Tangled. Communication sophomore Ella Gatlin said she was especially blown away by a rousing trio performance of “I Know Where I’ve Been” from Hairspray.

“I think just the entire audience felt how strong that song was,” Gatlin said. “It got a standing ovation, even though it was in the middle of the show.”

VC2 launched last April to form a space for students of color in theatre and focus on the stories of marginalized groups.

After performing at VC2’s inaugural open mic Fall Quarter, McCormick freshman Creed Bellamy sang as a part of the trio performing “I Know Where I’ve Been.” Bellamy said the three of them were enjoying themselves on stage during the Saturday night performance.

“A lot of the runs and the belts and stuff — that was just us having fun,” Bellamy said.

Pa’ Lante’s multilingual range of songs included a soulful Hindi and English mashup of “Tere Bina” and “Stand by Me,” a joyful performance of “Color Esperanza” and an uplifting rendition of “Dos Oruguitas.” 

Communication junior and Pa’ Lante cast member Mako Yamamoto said she enjoyed being involved with VC2 and the larger group rehearsals.

“I’m super excited to see what they’re planning to do — I think great things will be coming,” Yamamoto said. “These last few weeks where we’ve been putting everything together — it’s been great to get to know everybody.”

Weinberg sophomore Nick Vela performed “Color Esperanza.” He said that during callback auditions, cast members were asked to come in and perform songs they believed fit Pa’ Lantes’ theme. 

Though Vela didn’t audition with “Color Esperanza,” they said nearly half the songs in the cabaret were ones selected by cast members. 

“A lot of it was collaborative,” Vela said. “(The director) would ask us what we did want to do, what we didn’t want to do, stuff like that.”

Communication sophomore Agustin Maglione had his directorial debut with Pa’ Lante. 

Pa’ Lante held general auditions for the winter show in late October and assembled its cast list by early November. Maglione says VC2 gave him the opportunity to get his foot in the door with a very supportive community.

“I don’t think I’ve done anything as fulfilling as directing a show,” Maglione said. “It sounds cheesy, but I’m really proud of the work that we’ve done.”  

Communication junior and Pa’ Lante producer Ryan Nguyen said he produced a show last school year with WAVE Productions, but Pa’ Lante was his first time working with VC2. Nguyen said he is excited to see what VC2 does next. 

VC2 will be hosting its spring production of Fairview next quarter.

“It was really exciting to work with brand new people who have never been on a board before and with such an exciting mission that I hold so close to my heart,” Nguyen said.

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Twitter: @osho_olatunji

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