'Love Song Cabaret' a family affair

By Denise Coffey - Staff Writer
Killingly - posted Mon., Feb. 11, 2013
(L to r) Shaina Smith, Jenelle Provencher and Kayeln Seiden are in the production. Photos by D. Coffey.
(L to r) Shaina Smith, Jenelle Provencher and Kayeln Seiden are in the production. Photos by D. Coffey.

When "Love Song Cabaret" opens at the Little Theater on Broad Street on Feb. 14, it will be a family affair. Jennifer Magrey directs the show that features love songs from the 1920s through today. Her son, Nicholas, produces the show. Her brother, Michael Hopkins, provides musical direction. Her husband, Donald, is running the light board and painting band stands. Son Paul designed the logo.

Magrey wants there to be an element of surprise to the show, so she is keeping the song list close to her vest. There will be solos, duets, group numbers and some performers playing musical instruments. Singers will come down into the house, but other than that, she is loath to give away information on standards.

“The audience will be very much a part of this show,” said Nick Magrey, who will emcee the evening. “It's not a typical theater production where there is this fourth wall and we can't break through. I'll be chatting with the audience and bridging the gaps between the decades.”

For all the Magreys, having the chance to work with family has been phenomenal. “Mom has wanted to put together a show of love songs for years,” Nick said. “It's been great working with her. We live together, so we take the show home. We're always talking about it. We bounce ideas off each other pretty well.”

Hopkins, whose resume includes a Grammy for a compilation country album of the year, "Timeless: Hank Williams Tribute," being able to work with his sister has been a blast. “We’ve melded well,” he said. “We’re texting each other with ideas.” This is Hopkins' first time working with his sister and his first time doing anything theatrical. “I’ve done large venues and rock and roll shows, but not this. It’s fun. And these kids are so talented,” he said.

The cabaret will showcase area talent in period costumes as they perform each song. The Zornado clan (Joseph, Lori, Emily, and Clara) and sisters Shaina Smith and Jenelle Provencher will add their own family spin to the cast.

Magrey said that cabaret was something the community wanted. This is the first time that a dessert will be offered. Theater-goers will have their choice of three desserts made by pastry chef Christine Morey. Cafe seating will be available on a first-come, first-served basis. Those watching from the balcony will be able to have their cake and eat it, too.

“I don’t think enough people have enough date nights,” said Magrey. “This is a perfect opportunity for them to listen to nice songs, have dessert, and get away from the daily grind. It’s a night to feel love and be loved. It’s not just for couples. It's for everyone.”

"Love Song Cabaret" runs Feb. 14-16 at 7:30 p.m.. Tickets are $12, or $20 for two. Tickets are available at The Trink-et Shoppe and at Killingly Parks and Recreation. For more information, call 860-481-9498.

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