by Lorie Lewis Ham
Centerstage Clovis Community Theatre is putting on a fun cabaret event on March 9 called Duets–it is a part of their Encore! Cabaret Series. We took a moment to chat with their President of the Board, Brandon Crane, about the details.
KRL: How and when did you come up with the idea to do the first Encore Cabaret?
Brandon: We did a successful, similar concept ages ago, and we started kicking around the idea of reviving it in 2017 as an entrée into presenting all year long, which is a huge goal for us. As it turns out, they’re a fantastic showcase for our local talent and a great way to raise awareness about CenterStage. We are also incredibly lucky to have a partnership with the Clovis Veterans Memorial District. They believe in our mission, and their beautiful, 350-seat venue is perfect for this type of show.
KRL: Is its primary purpose as a fundraiser for the company?
Brandon: Because we include a silent auction with goods and services from our generous community sponsors, there is definitely a fundraising component. However, I believe community awareness is probably the most important reason for producing these cabarets. Historically, we’ve been a summer-only company so presenting these shows is critical to staying on the community radar. So, here we are!
KRL: I know the name of the event in March is Duets, but can you tell me anything more about the theme?
Brandon: Originally we wanted to present this show on the heels of Valentine’s Day. Most of the duets in the Broadway repertoire are about as romantic as music can be, so we thought this would be a great concept. The great thing about the cabaret convention is the sky is the limit; we aren’t bound by book show constraints, or scenery, or rehearsal commitment. With so many genres to choose from, we could stick to a single composer or even do a staged reading of lesser-known works, or even rarely-produced classics.
KRL: Who are the performers this time?
Brandon: We’re really blessed with the talent that wants to come out and play with us. From last summer’s production of The Little Mermaid we have Lorraine Christiansen (Ariel), Kari Mason (Ursula), and gospel singer Christian David (Sebastian). Added to the roster are Joseph Ham, Adam Kitt and his barbershop quartet, Madi Broach, and Chris Moran, a Good Company Players favorite making his CenterStage debut. Even some of our incredibly gifted board members will be performing: Camden Johnson and Morgan Claiborne. The list of performers is still growing, so readers should definitely check out the website and social media for updated cast information. I can tell you that for this show, you can expect to hear music from classics like The Secret Garden and The Phantom of the Opera to songs from recent Broadway hits like Mean Girls.
KRL: Where can tickets be purchased?
Brandon: Tickets are $25, which includes complimentary beverages (including champagne), hors d’oeuvres and the show. They can be purchased online at www.centerstageclovis.com, or at the box office table starting at 2 p.m. on March 9.
We’re now offering season subscriptions for 10-15% off of the regular ticket prices, which gets you into both 2019 Encore! cabarets as well your choice of seats for our summer productions of Roald Dahl’s Matilda in June, and Legally Blonde in July. You can enjoy all four shows for as little as $76!
KRL: What is the location, and time of Encore! Duets?
Brandon: Encore! Duets is Saturday, March 9 at the Clovis Veterans Memorial District in downtown Clovis. The doors will open at 3 p.m. and the performance will begin after everyone has had a chance to mingle and check out the silent auction.
KRL: Can you tell us a little more about what CenterStage has in store for audiences in 2019?
Brandon: We’re so proud of our summer 2019 season. It’s all about “girl power.” We’re producing the Fresno/Clovis premiere of Roald Dahl’s Matilda, which recently closed on Broadway, and following up with Legally Blonde. We are also negotiating a celebrity guest appearance for Legally Blonde, so follow us on social media or check the website for more updates.
KRL: Anything else you would like to add?
Brandon: We’ve worked hard on the logistics of delivering more than one show per year, and we will not stop at two. It is our goal to produce four full-scale shows every year, so we’re well on our way! We are also offering over $1,000 in scholarships to high school students to further their education in the arts, and [we are] working on a curriculum for primary educational outreach. 2019 is going to be a blockbuster year for CenterStage Clovis Community Theatre!
If you love local theatre, be sure to check out our new Mysteryrat’s Maze Podcast, which features mysteries read by local actors. The first 13 episodes are now up! You can check the podcast out on iTunes and Google Play, and also on podbean. Also check out our other theatre articles and reviews in our Arts and Entertainment section.