Treat your sweetheart to wine, strawberries and song at the 'A Valentine Cabaret'
Who needs a dozen red roses when you can have two dozen love songs served with wine and chocolate-covered strawberry bouquets from Oakmont Bakery?
The wine and chocolates are optional when O'Hara-based Stage Right Performing Arts & Education presents “Love at the Oaks: A Valentine Cabaret” — as is an Italian buffet dinner offered for an additional fee before two of the four performances — but there will be plenty of love songs for everyone as part of the musical production at the Oakmont theater.
More than 25 well-known romantic tunes representing different genres — from rock's “I Got You Babe” and classic soul's “Ain't No Sunshine” to Broadway's “Goodnight My Someone” and “Someone to Watch Over Me” — will be showcased in the Valentine cabaret.
A cast of 20 local singers and actors will headline the love fest in a show that musical director Jenna Hayes, a professional musician in Pittsburgh and music teacher in the Fox Chapel area, says is a one-of-a-kind production.
“The talent you will see at this show will be impressive,” she says. “We have solos, duets, emotional ballads, Sonny and Cher impersonations, and everything in between. And the latest theater renovations provide us with ample stage space and creative lighting choices.”
Most of the performers have a Stage Right connection, either as actors in past productions or those who have worked behind the scenes for the theater company. Some high school performers were Hayes' students last summer when she music directed a production of “You're A Good Man, Charlie Brown” for Stage Right's Young Artists Summer Theater.
“Love at the Oaks” will be hosted by actor and comedian Joe Eberle.
“I'll be throwing a few jokes in between singers as well,” he says. “There will also be some audience interaction. Nothing anyone needs to be afraid of. I'm not out to insult or embarrass anybody. I just want to welcome people and get to know them a little.”
A live band, featuring Lucas Bowman and Ben Bliss, piano; Bill Rossetti, bass and Aaron Henley, drums, will provide the music.
Joe Wichryk, the Oaks' program director, says the Valentine Cabaret show is a welcome new addition to the Oakmont theater's lineup of events. The Oaks, a multipurpose entertainment venue with movie screenings, comedy shows, lecture speakers and brunches, featured its first full-length theater production, “The Odd Couple” presented by Stage Right, in November.
“We like to try as many new things as we can at the Oaks,” he says.
Candy Williams is a Tribune-Review contributing writer.