AST spring cabaret showcases a variety of student talents

Sabrina Spence | Staff Writer

In McMillan Cafe on Saturday night, All Student Theatre (AST) hosted its annual spring cabaret, “Gayberet 20Bi-teen,” as a fundraiser for its spring show, “Melancholy Play”. Hosted by the charismatic duo of senior Sabrina Odigie and sophomore Eudora Anyagafu, “Gayberet” showcased the various talents of Washington University students, from comedy acts to dancing, and left no stone unturned.

The opening performance was simultaneously intriguing, shocking and confusing. Picture this: a pants-less student reading his personal manifesto, another doing what can be only described as a self-choreographed dance while listening to music on her Airpods and, to round out the talented trio, a student playing the trumpet. Odigie put it best when she described it as “sensual interpretative jazz.”

Eric Judson and Hannah Dains perform a duet at All Student Theatre’s annual spring cabaret, “Gayberet 20Bi-teen.” The caberet showcased Wash. U. students and fundraised for AST’s spring show.Grace Bruton | Student Life

Eric Judson and Hannah Dains perform a duet at All Student Theatre’s annual spring cabaret, “Gayberet 20Bi-teen.” The caberet showcased Wash. U. students and fundraised for AST’s spring show.

Following them was junior and AST Fundraising Chair Eric Judson with a stand-up comedy routine. Judson enlightened the audience on the benefits of flossing, what can happen in a “lukewarm community hot tub” and the intricacies of an article about sexting. A multi-faceted talent, Judson then joined fellow junior Hannah Dains and performed a duet.

Dains strummed away on her ukulele while Judson sang about the Wawa, a chain of convenience stores started in Pennsylvania. The chorus, “I’m crying at the Wawa again,” provided a relatable experience for those of us prone to crying at inopportune times and places.

The fourth act left the audience mystified and amazed—freshman Emma Thorp performed a card trick, assisted by junior Mona Jahani, the AST production manager. Thorp spent a year in New Zealand working in a circus, and it showed as she wowed the crowd with her skills in producing the nine of diamonds out of a stack of four cards originally shown to not contain one. After this display of magical prowess, Dains graced the stage again with her ukelele.

Dains vowed to learn to play the ukulele while sitting on the Brookings Quadrangle stage as she watched the set for AST’s show last spring, and she decided that she would learn to play it using the song “Ukulele Anthem” by Amanda Palmer. Working over the summer, she perfected “Ukulele Anthem,” and graced the audience with a flawless performance of the witty song. To take a break from the slew of musical numbers, Wash. U.’s Swing Theory performed.

Ordinarily, swing dancing isn’t what one would consider the most exciting thing to watch, but Swing Theory changed that misconception. Complete with lifts and spins that the average dance enthusiast should not endeavor to try at home, Swing Theory showcased true dance, miles away from modern gyrations such as the whip, the nae nae and other steps the kids are doing these days.

Next up on the “Gayberet” setlist was freshman Michael Gehr with a stand-up comedy routine. Throughout his set, he pointed out the irony of his “stand-up” act because he has Friedreich’s ataxia and is in a wheelchair. Despite this, he poked fun at his condition, prompting the audience to laugh at his jokes and, when they didn’t, Gehr reminded them that they were in fact funny and they could laugh, causing the audience to erupt in fits of laughter. Gehr provided “Gayberet” with a funny, endearing and self-aware performance that left everyone in stitches.

Next up was Thorp and junior Sarah James. Both were in the Performing Arts Department’s fall show “The Rocky Horror Show,” playing Columbia and Janet, respectively. In their performance, they paid homage to their time in Frank-n-Furter’s laboratory by singing Janet’s song, “Toucha, Toucha, Toucha, Touch Me” with Thorp accompanying James on her ukulele.

To round out the night, Roman Accardi and Jon Smith, two members of the Washington University Beatboxing Society, performed. They started off with a beatboxing battle, each taking 90 seconds to “spit their fire.” Following the battle, they beatboxed together, giving the audience an exciting performance and showing off a skillset that most do not have. It was enthralling and had the audience moving and grooving along with their beats.

Overall, “Gayberet 20Bi-teen” put on display the plethora of talents that Wash. U.’s community and its student groups possess, and piqued interest in its spring show. “Melancholy Play” will be directed by master’s student Nathan Lamp and will run April 11-14 on Brookings Quad.

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