By MARY STARR
Cabaret is one of those retro terms one doesn’t hear much anymore, but once each year, the Coastal Symphony of Georgia Symphony Society presents its major annual fundraiser under that name.
Cabaret, for the uninitiated, is defined as theatrical entertainment (that can take a variety of forms) that takes place in a venue other than a theater, such as a pub or nightclub, with a stage. It’s common for audience members to enjoy a meal and cocktails, but dancing is not usually part of a cabaret evening.
Up until last year, the symphony society had, for several years, held a traditional dinner/dance event at The Cloister. In 2018, the entertainment was a Broadway revue. This year, Cabaret 2019: Music of the Night, will be a true cabaret experience.
Nick Palance will entertain the audience in the surroundings of The Greenhouse, a relatively new performance venue on St. Simons Island. If the name Palance sounds familiar, that’s because Nick Palance is the nephew of the late actor Jack Palance, who was also known as a singer.
The modern-day Palance, said Cabaret Chair JoAnn Frick, will be a real audience pleaser.
“He’s been called the American Andrea Bocelli,” Frick said, referring to the Italian tenor with the operatic voice. Palance will be accompanied during the show by a violinist, guitarist and pianist.
Although Palance isn’t bringing a full orchestra with him, he uses the same strings section in the recording studio as Josh Groban, and shares a producer with Barry Manilow.
John Harper, president of the symphony society, said Palance is looking forward to the event.
The Greenhouse, tucked in to a space on Garden Grove Lane behind The Vine, on Market Street, will be an intimate setting for the evening’s events.
“The courtyard will be tented, and the cocktail hour and silent auction will be held there,” said Frick. “We think it will be transformed into a magical place.”
The Men’s Committee of the Symphony Society will be underwriting the cost of the cocktail reception.
The Vine will be handling the decorations, and Beachview Tent Rentals will supply the tent. The evening will be catered by Halyards.
With the silent auction being held outside, one thing the committee made sure of was to have extra lighting so the items will be able to be seen clearly.
Sue Garrett, vice president of the Coastal Symphony of Georgia Board of Directors said the intimate setting will be more cabaret-like and people will respond to that.
Last year’s event, which featured a Broadway revue with a large cast, was held in The Cloister Ballroom, and was much lauded by attendees.
“We had so much positive feedback, we just wanted to tweak it a little,” said Harper of the upcoming performance.
Cabaret 2019: Music of the Night, will begin at 6 p.m. Feb. 2 at the Greenhouse. The event is black-tie optional, and tickets are $175 per person. Cabaret is the organization’s premier fundraising event, and in addition to cocktails, dinner, entertainment and the silent auction, will also feature a live auction with an array of once-in-a-lifetime opportunities.
Those include dinner with Steve and Michelle Merrill, music director and conductor of the CSG; a “glamping” trip on Little Raccoon Key that will include a private chef, masseuse, naturalist and an oyster roast; trips to Capri and Tuscany, both in Italy; and a painting by Peggy Everett called “Sunrise Over the Marsh.”
“You feel like you’re there,” said Garrett of the painting.
Other prizes include a pilot boat ride to a big ship, art, a lot of wine, the Kentucky Bourbon Trail from the “comfort of your own home,” which is a selection of curated Kentucky bourbons.
“There will also be a mystery painting that will be unveiled that night,” said Frick.
Scarves and jewelry will also be featured, in both the live and silent auctions.
“Two of the scarves were handwoven by my friend Kate Hamer,” said Frick. “One is piano keys made out of black and white silk, and the other is the official U.G.A. tartan.”
For details and tickets, visit coastalsymphonyofgeorgia.org.