Show-Stopping Cabaret

A lively medley of the greatest hits of Broadway as part of SeptemberFest
Valerie diLorenzo Tom Kochie

   The Southampton Cultural Center will be alive with the sound of Broadway music on Sept. 28 at 7 p.m., as it hosts the one-hour “Showstopper Showcase,” a lively medley of the greatest hits of Broadway as part of SeptemberFest, a weekend devoted to art and culture in Southampton Village. The show was put together by Michael Disher, the director, and one of the performers, Valerie diLorenzo, an experienced hand at musical theater and cabaret in New York.


   Ms. diLorenzo has performed at some of New York’s leading cabarets, such as the Metropolitan Room and the Laurie Beechman Theater. Cabaret is an art form that is under attack in the city, as rising rents force out the old, small bars and clubs that used to host the performers.

 
   “The SeptemberFest event is very popular in Southampton. A lot of people don’t know about the theater company. I saw this as an opportunity to bring a cabaret-style show to the cultural center,” Ms. diLorenzo said Friday. She is slated to appear in the upcoming production of “Best Little Whorehouse in Texas,” also at the Center, from Oct. 17 through Nov. 3. Mr. Disher is directing that production, as well.


   “Michael chose the cast,” Ms. diLorenzo said. “Everyone in the cast are local people,” she said, and all of them have performed at the Cultural Center in the past.


   The evening is an eclectic collection of songs, from Stephen Sondheim to Richard Rodgers and Oscar Hammerstein II, knitted together to give the audience the same sense of peaks and valleys one gets from a musical.


   There will be solo ballads, duets, and trios. “I’m doing a duet, ‘You’re Just in Love,’ made famous by Ethel Merman,” Ms. diLorenzo said.


   The choice of “You’re Just in Love” shows the broad range of songs that Mr. Disher has combed through in putting together the Sept. 28 show. From the 1950 Irving Berlin hit show, “Call Me Madam,” it was written as a second act showstopper by Berlin. It is a counter-punctual duet, with the belt sound originally sung by Ethel Merman, sparring with the lyric tenor sound originally performed by Russell Nype.


    The evening will conclude with the cast of 10 doing “The Best of Times,” by Jerry Herman, from “La Cage aux Folles.”


    “We’re all dressing up,” Ms. diLorenzo said, laughing, adding that members of the audience were more than welcome to dress up, or dress down, as the mood moved them.


    “A classy evening of theater, an hour, free of charge,” Ms. diLorenzo promised.


    Besides Ms. diLorenzo, the cast also includes Isabel Alvarez, Daniel Becker, Bethany DellaPolla, Adam Fronc, Jillian Lyons, Joan Lyons, Mary Ellen Roche, Jack Seabury, and Sue Vinski.


    SeptemberFest will be presented from Sept. 27 to 29 and will feature concerts, art shows, hayrides, pumpkin carving, food, and other activities. A schedule is available at Southamptonseptemberfest.com.