My wife and I had the opportunity last night to attend a reception and performance in the newly renovated Laurie Beechman Cabaret located on the first floor of the UArts' Arts Bank building which also houses one of UArts' main stages. For those who are unaware, Laurie Beechman was an acclaimed musical theater and vocal performance artist from Philadelphia who, to the great loss of not only her family but the theater community, passed away in 1998. Through the generosity of her family, the cabaret has been totally renovated and turned into a beautiful, warm, intimate state of the art performance space. It will be used regularly by UArts students for a broad variety of performance opportunities ranging from musical theatre revues and cabaret nights to instrumental performances, spoken word performances and even comedy nights.
The inaugural performance last night was the opening of "Soiree Parisienne", a musical revue running through September 21, featuring Claudia Beechman, a renowned chanteuse (and sister of Laurie Beechman) along with Jamison Foreman, Brad Greer, Kristen Norine and Janet Rowley, 4 UArts MT seniors. The performance was simply wonderful. It was particularly exciting to observe the artistic excellence, poise and professionalism of the seniors whose performance was a testimonial not only to their own superb talent but also to the quality of the education and training they have received at UArts. Any one of them would shine on the professional stage.