VICTORIA, B.C. — Showtunes, anyone? Musical theatre fans and anyone hankering for that quintessential New York nightlife experience – listening to Broadway showtunes performed in an intimate piano bar or elegant supper club – can get a taste of that in downtown Victoria this weekend when the curtain goes up on a new partnership between the Canadian College of Performing Arts and the Veneto Bar Ristorante in the Hotel Rialto.
When the Showtune Cabaret gets underway Saturday Nov. 23 at 10 p.m. in this historic hotel’s sleek, classy bar and restaurant, it will mark the start of a new series intended in part to provide students who often work in a theatre setting with an opportunity to shine as a solo artist using skills they have honed at the College.
“It’s a unique musical theatre experience for both the performer and audience as there’s no fourth wall, and everyone is connected and engaged with each other,” says Director of Education and Programming Heather Burns, who was inspired by her experiences at Don’t Tell Mama, the intimate Broadway piano bar in New York.
Nine students, accompanied by legendary local accompanist and faculty member Jim Hill on piano, will perform standards and musical theatre highlights including My Funny Valentine, Maybe This Time, Whatever Lola Wants and In My Dreams.
Managing Artistic Director Caleb Marshall said the Showtune Cabaret series, which is scheduled to continue with another such night in the new year and potentially expand further, is another example of the College’s increasing focus on community engagement through partnerships with local businesses and arts organizations.
“We’re always trying to find unique partners to offer a unique entertainment experience,” said Marshall, citing previous partnerships with the Belfry Theatre, the Victoria Symphony, and Concerts of Remembrance in partnership with District of Oak Bay.
“There aren’t any venues here that have live music that have a showtune focus, which is a staple in New York. And this was a way for students to utilize the skills they are trained for, to put on something performance-oriented.”
The College’s association with Hotel Rialto began when it became a hotel partner, notably when it sponsored social events at Veneto Bar Ristorante during last spring’s engagement of West Side Story at McPherson Playhouse.
“They expressed an interest in exploring more events,” said Marshall, noting the potential for synergy given the McPherson’s location nearby. “And now we have this perfect scenario because Veneto has an ambience that lends itself to creating a fun and unique evening of entertainment.”
What Showtune Cabaret
Who Canadian College of Performing Arts Year II students
When Sat., Nov. 23, 10 p.m. (doors 9:30 p.m.)
Where Veneto Bar Ristorante at Hotel Rialto, 1450 Douglas St.
Tickets $20 (includes welcome drink). Limited Seating. Food and beverages also available for purchase.
Tickets can be purchased online at ccpacanada.com, or by calling 250-595-9970.
Michael D. Reid
Public Relations Liaison
The Canadian College of Performing Arts (CCPA) offers quality training in a broad spectrum of skills which will prepare students for careers in the performing arts locally, nationally or internationally. For more information visit www.ccpacanada.com