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New Beginnings, a New Year's Cabaret

Singing In The New Year

New Beginnings Cabaret Saturday Dec 29 at The Dreamland

Donald Dallaire
Vanessa Calantropo

Looking forward to Saturday night’s New Year’s Cabaret, New Beginnings, Theatre Workshop of Nantucket’s Executive Director Gabrielle Gould envisions a classic, sparkling night on the town, “think New York cabaret; think going to The Carlyle,” she says. This past summer, Gould and The Dreamland’s Event Sales Coordinator Donald Dallaire met to discuss a co-production. Something unique to be held “way off-season”. The idea of a “cohesive cabaret” produced in the classic fashion amid “little tables with drinks and food” emerged. When Visitor’s Services reached out to local organizations seeking events to build the island’s first Nantucket New Year’s Celebration, the cabaret made a perfect fit.

Diane Lehman, who teaches piano, theory, composition and vocal technique at her Piano Studio Nantucket (among her many roles in the island’s music community), signed on a Musical Director. “With all the talent on this little island, it was easy to say yes and start writing a show," she says. “Cabaret has an appeal like nothing else. The performer is able to act out a song, separate from its origin in a musical.”

The cast of New Beginnings is an embarrassment of rich talents: Kaitlyn Burke, Vanessa Calantropo, Cynthia Csabay, Donald Dallaire, Caleb Kardell, Alex Kopko, Bob Lehman, and Vince Vielleux perform. “For theater-goers on the island, the faces and voices will be mostly familiar, Lehman continues. “The show is in real time as one person after another experiences the anxiety or thrill of anticipation, the pain or the joy of having made a decision to change, the sorrow of loss, the humor found in a life well lived, and the relationships that sustain them all as they move through the changes they know they have to make to grow. The songs are sometimes funny, often irreverent, always descriptive and beautifully sung.”

Vanessa Calantropo, a graduate of the UMass Amherst Theatre Program seen most recently as Glinda the Good Witch in TWN’s Wizard of Oz, looks forward to the show with a performer’s mix of excitement and nerves. Her program includes “Someone Like You” from the musical Jekyll and Hyde, “I think it is so beautiful and sad and hopeful at the same time, and the melody is simple enough so people can hum it to themselves later,” she says. “Donald [Dalliare] is also singing an epic song from Jekyll and Hyde, 'This is the Moment'. He's going to be great.”

Calantropo offers further insights into her program. On “Don’t Rain On My Parade” from Funny Girl, “the biggest challenge, but I think it's also the most exciting.” On “What I Did For Love” from A Chorus Line: “the lyrics are so meaningful, but they could be applied to so many different situations, it’s open to interpretation by the listener. ” On “The New World” from Songs for a New World—a quartet performed with Dallaire, Vielleux and Burke, “The harmonies are tight and dynamic and by the end it's like a train barreling down on you.”

Calantropo’s enthusiasm underscores the craftsmanship, joy and professionalism Lehman finds in the entire cast. “I have the best seat in the house, playing for all of them,” she reports. “It's like a concert at every rehearsal. They are all so very dedicated to the songs, and to each other. All I can do is applaud them." She continues, “Listening to them each day at rehearsal has been exhilarating for me as they begin to embody their songs. The show is coming together because of the spirit and talents of these eight singers.”

In keeping with cabaret and New Year’s Eve traditions, Lehman offers “the evening will be an elegant affair, and the actors/singers will be decked out in their finest.” Think New York. Think The Carlyle.


Theatre Workshop of Nantucket and The Dreamland Foundation present

New Beginnings ~ A New Year's Cabaret  "One Night, Eight Voices & Eighty Minutes of Musical Magic"

The Dreamland Studio Theater, Saturday, December 29 ~ 6:30PM For tickets:



PHOTOS: Performers Donald Dallaire and Vanessa Calantropo




Rachel Dowling's picture

Looks really fun. How much are the tickets?