Players’ Cabaret Tells Us What We Missed on Glee 

By Kyla Guilfoil, Editor-in-Chief

The Manhattan College Players’ “Cabaret” is returning this semester with the largest cast in recent years and a theme which incorporates pop culture alongside its traditional theater focus. 

John O’Connor and Richard Divirgilio, both seniors, are leading the production as co-directors this semester. Their choice of theme: And here’s what you missed on Glee. 

The theme, an homage to the hit television series “Glee,” incorporates both pop music and show tunes, the directors said. 

Every song in this semester’s Cabaret has been performed on the show, O’Connor said. Divirgilio told The Quadrangle that after presenting two ideas to the Players board, “Glee” was chosen since it was “more accessible to people our age and allows for flexibility with song choices.” 

The show will feature 30 cast members, more than O’Connor can remember participating in his four years on campus. 

“We think that that’s what brought in a bigger crowd this year,” O’Connor said. “It’s for those who don’t necessarily love show tunes or are uncomfortable with it, they have the option to sing like pop music as well.” 

O’Connor said traditional theater music will still be showcased, but complemented with more modern pop songs, all as featured on “Glee.” O’Connor mentioned “Cell Block Tango,” a song from the Broadway musical, “Chicago,” as well as “Rumor Has It” and “Someone Like You” by Adele. 

O’Connor and Divirgilio have both participated in Cabaret over the last few years. Last spring, the pair co-assistant directed Cabaret, and knew they wanted to work together as co-directs this fall. In this production, O’Connor is the lead choreographer and Divirgilio has taken the lead on the music side of things. 

O’Connor also has an assistant choreographer for the production, freshman Brooke Dellarocco. 

“Brooke and I are on the dance team together and one of our bonding points from when we met in the beginning of our season was both doing theater [in high school],” O’Connor told The Quadrangle. “Brooke was just talking about being in Players, being involved in the performing arts and I was like, we have essentially a great opportunity.” 

O’Connor said this role will help Dellarocco if she wishes to be a head director herself in the future. 

Divirgilio told The Quadrangle that the production is on its way to a great opening night. 

“Rehearsals have run very smoothly as many of the songs we have planned for the show are well-known; many of the cast members came in already knowing their music,” Divirgilio told The Quadrangle. 

Julia Melchiorre, a senior adolescent education and history double major, is performing in “Cabaret” this semester for the third time. 

Melchiorre, who will be both singing and dancing in the production, said her home region of Southern California is home to competitive show choirs. She even performed on a stage which was used in “Glee”, Melchiorre told The Quadrangle. 

Melchiorre said that hosting the performance on campus, at the Black Box Theater, will make the performance even more special. 

“I am most excited about getting to see the audience’s reactions when we perform the songs,” Melchiorre said. “Since the Cabaret is in the Black Box, the performers have a closer connection to the audience and it is super fun to get them involved. I’m looking forward to that energy.” 

O’Connor said there will be solos, duets and trios in the show featuring a variety of songs. The performers range from members of Players to Jasper Dancers to members of the college’s orchestra. Some will sing, others will dance and many will do both. 

“I am most excited for cast members to get the opportunity to perform songs that they truly love in front of a live audience,” Divirgilio said. “As a director, it has been such a gift to see how excited they are about it.” 

The Players will perform Cabaret on Dec. 8, 9 and 10 in Black Box Theater. For more information, visit @playersmc on Instagram. 

Editor’s note: Brooke Dellarocco, who is mentioned in this article, is a staff writer for The Quadrangle.