The Cabaret Band is pictured in a previous performance featuring seven band members and four backup singers. (Photo provided)Alva Morgan performs in a past Cabaret Band Show. This year, she’ll being singing “We Need a Love” by Sister Sparrow and the Birds and “Sugar” by Maroon 5. (File photo)

Cabaret Band Show returns to help Wings of Hope

By: 
Virginia Ransbottom, Staff Writer

“What good is sitting, alone in your room?  Come hear the music play! Life is a cabaret, old chum! Come to the cabaret!”

Tickets are now on sale for the 32nd Cabaret Band Show and, although living legend Liza Minelli won’t be there, local living legends and rising stars will be.

Performances are March 17-18 and 24-25, at 7 p.m. at Griswold Auditorium, 401 Hubbard St., Allegan.

West Michigan’s own will be performing versions of Lady GaGa, Marc Broussard, Stevie Wonder and Journey, to name a few, along with the Cabaret’s signature seven-piece band and four backup singers.

“There’s all styles of music and new to the band this year is drummer Don Pabis and bass player Jeff Clearwater,” said organizer Dean Michaels. “But for many, the show is a family reunion and pilgrimage.”

Along with 38 arrangements are the “singing commercials”—a crowd favorite that spills into the aisles with laughter. “That’s where our sponsors tell their stories, written as a parody of modern tunes,” Michaels said.

For instance, Sneller Real Estate changes the lyrics from, “All About That Bass” by Meghan Trainor, to “Because you know they’re all about that place, ’bout that place, call Sneller.”

Shannon Orthodontics lyrics are “Don’t worry, call Shannon” and Scott’s Landscape lyrics to Bow Wow Wow’s “I Want Candy” are:

“I know a guy who’s tough on weeds.

“Works in sunshine and the heat.

“He’s got all the tools to make it sweet.

“He’s the guy you want to meet.

“I want Scotty!”

Another crowd favorite is the unknown comedian, Dr. Paul Hodge, whose head is covered with a brown paper bag that matches the style of his loud leisure jacket.

Also among the two acts are Shannon Dykstra singing “House of the Rising Sun,” Dr. Tim Dickinson performing “Garden Party” and Bryan Fischer belting out “Tennessee Whiskey.”

“We have doctors, teachers, administrators, builders, postal workers, and people who wouldn’t otherwise have an opportunity to use their talent—along with musicians who play in other bands or alone—and magic happens when they get together with the Cabaret Band.” Michaels said. “It’s a thank you from the community to Wings of Hope Hospice who are there for our benefit giving a service to our families.

“It’s a blessing to have them here.”

Wings of Hope provides free physical, emotional and spiritual comfort and support for end of life clients in Allegan County so they can enjoy their last days or months with loved ones in the comfort of their own home.

Last year, the Cabaret Show took a hiatus and the Allegan Community Players stepped in to stage “The Price is Wrong” as the annual hospice fundraiser.

“Cabaret is a wonderful show with great talent from the community doing good for the community,” said Wings of Hope director of development Betty Jo Ferry who helps with ticket sales. “According to our data going back to 2006, it has raised $158,000.”

While both Wings of Hope and the Cabaret show originated in 1985, the fundraising for Wings of Hope started later.

Pre-parties will be on Saturdays, March 18 and 25, at 6 p.m. in the Griswold’s basement floor to meet the cast and crew and enjoy hors d’oeuvres and a cash bar.

Bar refreshments will also be served during intermission at each show. Along with $3,000 in ticket sales, proceeds from beverage sales go to the Allegan Area Arts Council who will be serving them. Forever Curious Children’s Museum will provide ushers with a $1,000 stipend going to the museum for their help.

All seats are reserved. Friday shows are $25. Saturday shows are $30 and include the pre-party. For tickets, call Wings of Hope at (269) 686-8659 or stop by the office at 530 Linn St., Allegan, across from the hospital.

For more information about the Cabaret Band Show, visit them on Facebook at www.facebook.com/allegancabaret.

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