Webster University’s P!NG: A Peforming Arts Collective produced its first show since receiving the approval to become an official club. After discussing at weekly meetings what the club’s first official event would be, the club decided to hold a cabaret titled “Great Expectations.”
“Great Expectations” Director and Webster University Jazz Vocal Major Dominique Price gave the show its name. He decided on the title because he wanted the audience to expect to hear and see great performers accompanied by a great band while enjoying great food.
“[I wanted the crowd] to take their mind off of what was happening in their life for just two hours,” Price said. “You could feel people’s excitement vibrating through the room, vibrating through the body.”
The cabaret brought in more than 100 people to the Ozark Theatre in Webster Groves. The show included acts who performed numbers from The Color Purple, Hairspray and West Side Story. Jazz vocal major Natalie Mayor opened the show with “I Can Hear the Bells” from Hairspray.
In addition to the work put in by the singers, the performers in the band met twice a week in the month leading up to the show. Every Tuesday and Thursday, the musicians would meet from 6 p.m. to 10 p.m. to rehearse the music and arrangements.
Music Major Noah Valenti was a part of both the singing line up and the live band.
“The rehearsals for the band were just a good time,” Valenti said. “We just said you play this [part], and it went well. It was really a good time, and it didn’t feel like work at all.”
Price knew going into the performance he wanted to use a live band. He said he does not believe in using pre-recorded tracks to accompany a live voice. There is a risk level that comes with using a live band, but Price said the band for “Great Expectations” performed exceptionally.
“I never concerned myself about whether it’s going to work,” Price said. “I tried to think about how to make it work, and if we can’t make it work then we aren’t going to do it.”
Mayor said the audience at the theater was full, and included people she was close to.
“We worked really hard, so we didn’t have any reason to be nervous,” Mayor said.