VALDOSTA — After singing the final notes of “Don’t Cry for Me Argentina” from “Evita,” Nadia Yankovskyy walked off the stage then abruptly stopped.

“Should I walk off quickly or slow and regal?” she asked

“Slow and regal,” Ricardo Ipina said, sitting at the piano. He played the chords at the same pace and majesty to match his spoken answer.

Yankovsky’s exit, stage right, reflected both the words and music. Head held high. Her steps proud and purposeful.

She is one performer in the Valdosta High School Drama season-opening cabaret performance. Ipina, VHS Drama director, said the 2019 cabaret is about the ingredients of a musical. Performers will explain certain aspects behind popular musicals as well as certain elements: the love song, the show-stopping 11 o’clock number, etc.

Song selection finds popular tunes from classical Broadway musicals. Songs that many people quickly recognize. The older stuff, Ipina said, adding that a selection from “Cats!” is probably the most recent song in the show.

The high school cast initially wasn’t interested in performing old Broadway songs. They wanted more contemporary works, Ipina said.

“But they fell in love with these songs quickly,” Ipina said, “which speaks to why these songs have such an enduring popularity.”

He said he hopes the songs will attract people to see the cabaret. The dinner-theatre performance is the chief fall fundraiser for the VHS Drama. It will help fund the show for regional one-act competition in October. VHS Drama plans on performing “Enchanted April” in competition, Ipina said.

THE CAST: Sarai Carter, Lakembria Collins, Makalee Cooper, Isaac Darflinger, Brawdy Gupton, Zion Hill, Alina Hurtado, Laurana Layton, Ronnekia Leggett, Jaden Livingston, Aliyah Mastin, Kathryn Plumb, Christen Powell, Matthew Puckett, Ja’mya Smith, Justice Smith, Ashanti Wills, Eryn Wilson, Avantyanna Woods, Nadia Yankovskyy.

DIRECTION, PRODUCTION: Ricardo Ipina, director; Jade Conway, stage manager; Andrea Petty, sound tech; Mary Kate Sanderson, light tech.

SHOWTIME

Valdosta High School Drama presents the fall cabaret.

When: Dinner starts 6 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 7, and Monday, Sept. 9.

Where: Old Valdosta High School Performing Arts Center, 3101 N. Forrest St.

Ticket: $25, for dinner and show.

Menu: Vegetarian or traditional lasagna, broccoli side, roll, lemon parfait, drink.

Advanced reservations a must. Contact ripina@gocats.org.

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