Pensacola, Cabaret is back in full force, and ready to turn the city upside down. The Pensacola Little Theatre, which aims to enrich, educate and entertain the community by providing a superior theatre experience through volunteer-driven performances and educational outreach, will host this year’s “Vegas” themed event. Tyler Kercher, executive director of the Pensacola Little Theatre (PLT), says that the building will be transformed into different areas, all playing on that common theme. The street party on Zarragoza will be “Retro Vegas,” including Rat Pack impersonators, a high rollers casino room, and a live band. The courtroom will be themed “New York, New York” after the hotel and casino in Vegas. It will feature aerial entertainment by Pure Pilates, entertainment vignettes, and casino games. Expect some surprises for the Mainstage Theatre. The experience will be like nothing anyone has seen. The Main Theatre will provide Las Vegas-style entertainment including some comedy, music, dancing and plenty of surprises. Throughout the remainder of the building and Zaragossa Street, there will be DJs, bands, dancers, aerialists, and plenty of beverages and food.
“Cabaret is PLT’s annual fundraiser, planned and hosted by the Board of Trustees. Cabaret transforms the Theatre, and the surrounding block, into an entertainment complex, and boasts live entertainment, music, food and drink for all to enjoy. Cabaret is where theatre meets those who support the arts, in an interactive evening that is sure to entertain,” Kercher says. “Cabaret has been touted as Pensacola’s best party in the past. We aim to have something for everyone (21 and over, that is). Between the casino games, live entertainment, and silent auction, there won’t be a dull moment.”
Cabaret was launched by the Board of Trustees. Cabaret was born with Theatre resources like props, lighting, stages, stage managers, sound systems, sound managers, costumes, and lots of very creative volunteers who love to have a good party. Over the years, entertainment became much more interactive and came to involve the entire building, and now the streets outside of the building. Cabaret raises money to assist with the operations of the Pensacola Little Theatre. Through fundraising efforts, PLT can keep ticket costs to attend the theatre as low as possible, and continue to impact a diverse patron base.
PLT starts planning early in the fall, and carries through to the day of the event. Board members serve on committees and recruit the support of friends of the theatre and local businesses. The Cabaret Committee decides the theme each year.
The PLT has an all-volunteer board of trustees of over 30 people, along with an executive director, artistic director, business manager, education director, and a small staff who handle operations and marketing. The PLT has over $1,000,000 in its endowment, and has zero debt. The PLT owns the Cultural Center, and offers it to be used by other non-profits as well as room rentals for a fee. Beginning in August of 2016, church services will be held on Sundays in the Main Theater.
The PLT is celebrating its 80th year. It has been a staple of the arts community in Pensacola since 1936. Through its operations, PLT impacts over 100,000 people every year, and its 1,000+ annual volunteers have given over 100,000 hours to make it such a special place. Through active fundraising efforts like Cabaret they can continue to offer high-quality live theatre experiences to the Pensacola community. In the past couple of years, Cabaret has raised over $40,000 per year to support theatre operations.
Kercher says that he hopes people come to Cabaret, enjoy a great night surrounded by friends, and come back year after year to support a great cause. Increasing awareness of the Pensacola Little Theatre is always a goal, and is always achieved. Allowing for creative volunteers to show off their talents on a fun, and interactive night is a reward for the grueling theatre requirements of those involved in the many shows. Tickets are $50. They are available at the PLT Box Office (Monday through Friday from 10 am to 5:30 pm) or online at pensacolalittletheatre.com). Attendees will be given two drink tickets upon entry, and cash bar thereafter.
Remember, what happens at Cabaret stays at Cabaret.