by CARMEN SIERING
Staging a theater production is a tough proposition in a socially distanced, mostly virtual world. Locally, Cardinal Stage has worked to fill the gap by offering everything from an online, streaming cabaret series to Walkabout Radio Plays, which encouraged patrons to get off the couch and, with help of a smartphone, literally follow along as stories unfolded in Bloomington neighborhoods and on the Indiana University campus.
While these innovative approaches were good stopgap measures, Cardinal Artistic Director Kate Galvin says that after a year, patrons are ready to get back to more traditional theater.
“In January, we surveyed our audience and what we heard was that while our patrons were impressed with what we were doing, they were tired of dealing with screens and were ready to get back to live performances,” Galvin says.
With that in mind, Cardinal decided to take one of its online cabaret performances, planned for the spring, and move it to June, when it could be performed live on an outdoor stage.
Vintage Broadway Cabaret will be offered June 4 and 5 at 7 p.m. at The Hundredth Hill, 8275 N. Fish Road. The show will feature classic show tunes from the 40s, 50s, and 60s, performed by popular Cardinal alumni, including Amanda Biggs, Philip Christiansen, and Scott Hogsed. Others slated to perform include Eric Doades, Sheryl Doades, Kevin Dolan, Danielle McKnight, Eric Olson, Lisa Podulka, and Anne Slovin. Galvin will direct and Brandon Magid is the musical director.
To maintain social distancing, tickets will be sold in pods of 1–2 ($25) and 3–4 ($50). Pods will be marked in circles 6 feet apart. Audience members should bring their own seating as well as refreshments; no concessions will be available. Masks must be worn at all times when outside of the seating pods.
The Hundredth Hill is a nonprofit, 40-acred artists’ retreat located about 20 minutes outside of Bloomington. Owned by local singer-songwriter Krista Detor and her husband, David Weber, it was the site of a 2 1/2-month artists’ residency program last summer, which culminated in a live performance.
“We took this enormous risk, and it was successful,” Detor says. “Based on that experience, I can say this is a safe way to see a live performance. It’s all open air. Even the barn where the restrooms are located is open. It’s an optimal location.”
The show runs 80 minutes, ending at 8:20 p.m. Sundown on performance dates is 9:10 p.m. Rain date for both performances is June 6.
For more information and to purchase tickets, visit cardinalstage.org.