Bringing Live Theatre to McHenry County Since 1967

What Is a Cabaret?

Songs of Sondheim
Encore of Songs of Sondheim from 2022

Cabaret (noun)

A form of theatrical entertainment held in small informal environments such as a restaurant or nightclub while the audience dines or drinks at tables.

When did cabarets originate?

Cabarets originated in France in the 19th century. A ‘cabaret’ used to refer specifically to the restaurant that served alcohol and meals with a short show but then later evolved to refer specifically to the show itself.

What is the environment?

While the Woodstock Opera House can accommodate upwards of 400 attendees, cabaret venues are much more intimate. At Stage Left Café, our cabaret audience is limited to roughly 70 attendees. There is a casual atmosphere as audience goers sit at tables and are welcome to eat and drink as the show goes on. Be sure to come early for the best seats as tables are general admission.

How will the show go?

It’s not a concert, but it’s not a musical either. The show consists of various vocal performances which may include solos, duets, and all-group numbers, all within the cabaret’s theme, and will typically last 1.5 to 2 hours. Cabarets don’t usually involve sets, props, or costumes.

Do I need to buy tickets in advance?

While tickets will be offered at the door when available, it’s recommended to pre-purchase tickets online to guarantee a seat. Because capacity is limited, if tickets sell out online, we are unable to offer further tickets at the door. Each cabaret is set for one night only, so there is only one opportunity to catch each unique show.

Who are the performers?

Theatre 121 Encore Presents… Cabaret auditions are open only to Theatre 121 members, however anyone interested is invited to become a member at any time. Auditions are announced via the Theatre 121 Membership page. Once selected, performers attend just a handful of rehearsals before the performance.
Whether you’ve attended hundreds of cabarets or none, we hope you come share an evening with us at the cabaret! With Songs of Sondheim – Theatre 121’s debut cabaret – quickly approaching, we thought we’d take some time to shed some light on what a cabaret is. Perhaps you have attended one of our many stage shows at the Woodstock Opera House – a cabaret is an entirely different experience.

Join us at Stage Left Café on Friday May 27th at 8pm for
Theatre 121 Encore Presents…Songs of Sondheim
Tickets $15 – on sale now!