The Valentine Cabaret Becomes A Major Part of Dramatic License Productions

Sabra Sellers, Jeremy Sims, Taylor Pietz and Jeffrey Pruett belt out a number at DLP's "A Valentine Cabaret." Photo: Gerry Love

Sabra Sellers, Jeremy Sims, Taylor Pietz and Jeffrey Pruett belt out a number at DLP’s “A Valentine Cabaret.” Photo: Gerry Love

No matter what theatre is on their season schedule at Dramatic License, you can always count on two wonderful productions year after year- the Valentine Cabaret and the Holiday Cabaret. This year, “A Valentine Cabaret- Love Songs Of Broadway” offers four outstanding actor/singers and a wide range of great music from the Broadway stage.

Unfortunately, I don’t always get to attend the cabaret series because it coincides with regular theatre openings and they usually only run one week-end (although a few have been extended because it’s a very popular series). I’m glad I had some free time this Valentine’s week-end because this was a dynamite show with polished performances a clever storytelling- mainly through the songs themselves. With beauty and a talent that just won’t quit, Taylor Pietz delivers charm and undeniable stage presence whether in solos, duets or ensemble action. She soars in the “Thoroughly Modern Millie” paean, “Gimme, Gimme” and then shares one of the most beautiful moments I’ve seen on stage when she accompanies herself on piano with the “King and I” standard, “Something Wonderful.”

The delightful Sabra Sellers was evidently a last-minute replacement but she didn’t flinch a bit as she fit right in and got into the spirit of things in clever ensemble pieces like the first act finisher, “Let’s Not Talk About Anything But Love” and her touching solo turn with “A Quiet Thing” from “Flora The Red Menace.” She got raves last year for her star turn as Gypsy Rose Lee in “Gypsy” at Stray Dog Theatre and I’m still impressed with how well she can belt a tune.

Taylor Pietz, Sabra Sellers, Jeffrey Pruett and Jeremy Sims bring us the "Mama Mia!" wedding scene at "A Valentine Cabaret at Dramatic License. Photo: Gerry Love

Taylor Pietz, Sabra Sellers, Jeffrey Pruett and Jeremy Sims bring us the “Mama Mia!” wedding scene at “A Valentine Cabaret” at Dramatic License. Photo: Gerry Love

The boys are equally impressive with Jeffrey Pruett returning to the DLP stage and blowing us away with “Being Alive” from “Company” and surprising us with his second act opener as the “bride” from “Mama Mia” in their rendition of “I Do, I Do, I Do, I Do, I Do.” Which is just a bit ironic since he played Michael in the Dramatic License production of the Tom Jones, Harvey Schmidt show, “I Do! I Do!”

Rounding out the cast is Jeremy Sims- a smooth baritone with a permanent twinkle in his eyes. He and Jeffrey blow the roof off Chesterfield Mall with their rendition of “Lily’s Eyes” from “The Secret Garden” and then wows us in the “Rent ” finale of the “Valentine Cabaret” with “I’ll Cover You.” As I told Kim Furlow, DLP’s Artistic Director, as I was exiting the theatre, I want to see them stage “The Roar Of The Greasepaint, The Smell Of The Crowd” so I can hear Jeremy sing “Feelin’ Good.”

Through several set backs such as last minute replacements of a couple of artists and some other behind the scenes shenanigans, Dramatic License has provided another outstanding edition of their “Valentine Cabaret.” With Zachary Stefaniak’s wonderful direction and choreography and this talented group of performers, it’s a pleasant way to spend a couple of hours. By the way, the next Dramatic License theatre production is scheduled very soon- “Shirley Valentine” (sort of a sequel to the Valentine Cabaret, I guess), opens February 27th starring the very talented Teresa Doggett. Give them a call at 636-821-1746 for tickets to “Shirley Valentine” and to get information on the rest of their season.

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