Combining song, dance, jokes and more, the cabaret is the ultimate example of a group of performers becoming more than the sum of its parts and producing something special. And it was the lure of directing such a production that persuaded longtime theatrical impresario Phyllis Thompson to come out of retirement to helm the second annual Fools’ Day Cabaret — a rambunctious fund-raiser for the Lincoln City Warming Shelter.
“This is about coming together and making a better community,” Thompson said. “When people work together, there’s really nothing they cannot do.” Retired from a career teaching theater arts, Thompson rises to the challenge with sterling credentials: a bachelor’s in Music from the University of Connecticut, a master’s in Acting from Michigan State University and a Masters in Fine Arts in Directing from Florida State University.
Performers will include several returnees, back by popular request, including deadpan comedy from Lewis Smith, lively music from Nora Sherwood and Gary Burman, and a suitably saucy performance from Elizabeth Black and her Sisters.
Thompson’s troupe of performers will take to the stage on Saturday, March 31, serving up a smorgasbord of songs, dances, tricks, jokes, skits and music aimed at adult audiences.
Warming Shelter President Patrick Alexander, who will return to emcee the event, said the group is thrilled to have Thompson’s help in drawing attention to its mission. “Homelessness is no joke,” he said. “It comes with real costs to our society, on top of the personal pain for those who have to live without things the rest of us take for granted. With Phyllis on board, we are able to present an evening of light-hearted silliness in aid of a very serious cause.”
As well as the ensemble performance, the evening will include a salute to slapstick, with guests invited to bid on a range of gourmet cream pies donated by local restaurants — each far too delicious to waste on throwing. Guests will also be invited to step into the spotlight themselves by telling their favorite joke for a chance at winning a gift basket — or paying a proxy to take to the stage on their behalf.
The Fools’ Day Cabaret launches on stage Saturday, March 31, starting at 7 pm in the auditorium of the Lincoln City Cultural Center, 540 NE Hwy. 101. All proceeds from the event will benefit the Lincoln City Warming Shelter, which offers emergency weather shelter during the winter in addition to a year-round homelessness resource center located in Taft.
Admission to the event includes a delicious dessert of Raspberry Fool. Beer and wine will also be available.
Tickets, $20 in advance or $25 at the door, are available from Warming Shelter board members or online at www.lincolncityculturalcenter.org. For more information, call 541-994-9994.