Midwinter Relief: 100 Years of Cabaret

My first winter at BMPC was in 1983. What a winter that was. That February, Philadelphia was struck by a blizzard named “Megapolitan Blizzard” (21 inches of snow). Record cold temperatures prevailed. I still remember going to Chinatown with BMPC members for dinner and thinking, “I’ve never been this cold before!” (this is from a guy who grew up in Iowa and then went to graduate school in Rochester, NY!) That spring, the Music and Fine Arts Council decided to offer a “Midwinter Festival” the following February, on the Saturday before Lent – as a kind of “Bryn Mawr Mardi Gras.” Plenty of skeptics said, “Jeff, BMPC will never go for this.” Happily, they were wrong, and a tradition began that continued for nearly 25 years.

Last spring, our council decided to revive the Midwinter Festival, offering “100 Years of Cabaret” on Saturday, February 10. Produced and directed by Lawana Scales and starring Sherri Shields and Louisa Mygatt as your “guides,” this will be an evening to remember. What will you experience at this year’s festival? Amazing homemade desserts and a program that will walk the audience through 100 years of American history through comedy routines, music, skits, and surprises. Fats Waller, George Gershwin, Leonard Bernstein, and PDQ Bach are among the composers you will hear. You’ll hear highlights from “Les Misérables,” “Wicked,” “Porgy and Bess,” and “Miss Saigon.” How many of you know that we have a pastor who is an expert in “lip-syncing?” Did you know that at least two of our pastors are musically gifted and passionate about Carole King? Have you ever heard George Peters do a comedy routine? Did you know that one of the choir’s basses is a fan of Julia Child? Did you know that we have at least two “rappers” in the choir? And, for those of you who remember our early Midwinter Festivals, yes, there will be a “Surprise of the evening.”

Tickets are flying. You may purchase yours Sunday after the 10 a.m. service or from the Music and Fine Arts office during office hours. Chase away the winter blues at BMPC! Celebrate 100 years of Cabaret.