2023 Cabaret Night


Emily Landolfi, Staff Writer

Broadway music. Delectable food. A night of jazz entertainment. The 2023 Cabaret event hosted by Mrs. Conners, FTHS’s beloved choir director, is one for the books. With Senior AJ Tedeshi as the funniest MC the world has ever seen alongside an abundance of incredible performances, the music students left the audience begging for more.

 The crowd was hit first with a haunting rendition of “The Ballad of Sweeney Todd” from Sweeney Todd sung by the full choir, leaving electricity in the air that set the tone for the rest of the event. Senior Cassie Neuhaus followed up by singing “Don’t Rain on My Parade” from Funny Girl. Telling the story with a smile and executing every note perfectly, Cassie brought a breath of fresh air to the popular tune. Originally sung by Olivia Rodrigo in High School Musical: The Musical: The Series, Senior Kailyn Soto delivered an emotional performance of “All I Want” with a beautifully lyrical, full tone. 

A dynamic duo, Junior Ryan Thaw and Senior Conner Keough truly embodied the essence of comedic princes when singing “Agony” from Into the Woods. Their voices and personalities mixed together so naturally that I’m personally demanding to see the two perform these roles on a main stage. A break from vocals, a soothing, enchanting rendition of “Just the Two of Us” arranged by Grover Washington Jr. was played by Adam Toth, Jamila Abreu, Aaron Waldron, Riley Talerico-Dovel, Annabelle Fredricks, Mike Carbone, and Carly Jones- members of the jazz ensemble. 

Sophomore Olivia Zettell picked the singing back up with “Adelaide’s Lament” from Guys & Dolls, in which she employed perfect characterization that reeled the audience in and brought the story to life. Junior Sydney Bryant then took the stage – or cafeteria floor – and sang her out to “Waiting for Life” from Once on this Island. With her incredible tone mixed with her incomparable stage presence, Sydney’s performance was one I personally (and I’m certain many others) could not stop thinking about. Next up to the mic, Senior Emily Landolfi performed “Me and the Sky” from Come From Away in which she utilized her entire space (including the risers) to take the audience on a woman’s journey of empowerment, growth, and strength.

Ready for another instrumental break? Seniors Justin Morgan and Kenny Yoon beautifully played “In a Sentimental Mood,” entrancing the audience with their talented mixture of percussion and the saxophone. A familiar tune, the Select Ensemble then transported the cafeteria to a James Bond Film, AJ Tedeshi showing off his suave demeanor when he uttered the iconic phrase, “Bond. James Bond.” A showcase of their immense, broad range of talents, the Concert Band and Color Guard teamed up to perform a tribute to Louis Armstrong titled “Satchmo!” Featuring iconic titles such as What a Wonderful World and When the Saints Go Marching In, the soul of Louis Armstrong came alive in your average school cafeteria and gave true honor to his life. 

Switching back to Broadway gears, Junior Shain Stanley brought humor and grace in her performance of “When He Sees Me” from Waitress, playing the anxious hopeless romantic with ease while wowing the audience with her unparalleled voice. Junior Allision Karmazin took the mic next and passionately sang “Watch What Happens” from the famous show Newsies, her display of mature tone and vocal ability proving how deserving she is of her spot in the 2022 and 2023 All State Chorus. Making everyone in the cafeteria almost fall over from laughter, Senior Andrew Parisis and Junior Daniel Loges performed “You and Me (But Mostly Me) from the hilarious The Book of Mormon and showcased their comedic and vocal capabilities. Another duet, Seniors Giana Hopper and Justin Morgan covered one of the cutest versions of “Fine” from Ordinary Days as they not only captivated the audience with their perfectly paired voices but left them lovestruck at the sight of a promposal. I’m happy to report that Gianna said YES!!

Known for his intellect and talent within the school, Senior Noah Zalika gave his heart to his performance of “Stars” from Les Miserables, serving up another one of his magical, superb vocal renditions. His partner in crime in FTHS’ version of Mean Girls: The Musical, Senior Piper Doherty stole the breath of each individual with her cover of “Maybe This Time” from Cabaret (incredibly fitting), her naturally rich tone and vocal control making her more than deserving of the 2023 Most-Likely-To-Be-Famous superlative title. Ending off the night spectacularly, the Concert Choir performed “Skid Row (Downtown) from the beloved Little Shop of Horrors featuring soloists Juniors Burak Tasoz and Lia Polisano. A blast from the past, Alumni Leah Waldron began the song off and showcased her indescribable voice which set the tone for the rest of the number, and Burak and Lia gave a taste of the talent they evidently possess. 

The night was a smashing success and demonstrated the unbelieved musicality that exists within the halls of Freehold Township. Congratulations to the Music Department for harboring such talented students and for being led by impeccable musical directors!