Back to School: A Cabaret

New venue for Northern Door Pride’s annual fundraiser

Northern Door Pride’s (NDP) annual cabaret show has outgrown its venue after just two years running.

In 2022 and 2023, the music showcase was held at Egg Harbor’s Donald and Carol Kress Pavilion, but a packed house at last year’s event told NDP founder Owen Alabado that a move was necessary. 

“This community never ceases to amaze me when it comes to support,” Alabado said of the turnout last year.

NDP’s 2024 cabaret will be held at Northern Sky’s Gould Theater Feb. 24. Performers will include local talents Brandon Bogenschutz, Zephyr Ciesar, Abby Duebler, Sam Radosevich, Logan Thomas and Alabado himself. The performers will be accompanied by local pianist Kate Hussey and percussionist Dan Smrz.

With the new venue comes a new theme; all of the songs performed – including tunes from Broadway hits like Mean Girls, Dear Evan Hansen, Heathers and Avenue Q – will relate to school in some way, hence the title of the show, “Back to School: A Cabaret.”

Previous cabarets by NDP featured musical-theater favorites too, but followed different themes. The first cabaret in 2022 was titled “For the Love of Love” and featured various types of love songs, while the second in 2023 was titled “Broadway with a Twist,” with performers putting new spins on classic show tunes.

In that second year of operation, the event became a fundraiser for NDP’s new scholarship program, which is awarded to a graduating senior from a Door County high school who exemplifies and advocates for diversity, equity and inclusion.

The cabaret’s musical-theater theme isn’t incidental; it’s a purposeful nod towards the tie between theater and the LGBTQ+ community, according to Alabado (the catchy songs are a plus, too.)

“Events like the cabaret [are] a way of bringing the community together and celebrating our love of theater,” Alabado said. “Theater has always been a huge part of the LGBTQ community. It’s been a safe haven for so many kids; it’s been a way for kids to express themselves and find their people.”

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