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East Ridge theater alumni presents Alumni Cabaret tomorrow

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College students all across the state will be making their way home to see their families this holiday season. 

A group of East Ridge High School graduates will have the opportunity to see their second family this weekend – their theater family.

East Ridge theater alumni will be presenting an Alumni Cabaret on Dec. 26 at 7 p.m. at the Loft Stage.

“This theater program gave me everything,” said Katherine Spicuzza, a 2014 East Ridge graduate. “It’s my family and it’s really nice to come back and see where the program is now.”

The Alumni Cabaret will feature roughly 20 performers doing songs, improvisation and a group number.

“We grew so close together during our four years in theater,” 2014 graduate Alex Berger said. “It’s nice to be able to come back together and get to perform on stage again because that’s not something we really get to do anymore.”

Audiences are asked to pay a $5 freewill donation for the Alumni Cabaret. All proceeds will be donated to East Ridge’s theater program.

This weekend’s Alumni Cabaret marks the second year of the event, which alumni hope to make annual.

“We wanted to do an alumni concert for a really long time,” Spicuzza said, “and we finally had enough alumni to do a full cabaret.”

Spicuzza and Berger, who were both involved last year and will be involved again this year, said the Alumni Cabaret is a lot of fun because not only is it a chance for alumni to perform again but it’s also a chance to reconnect.

“I’m looking forward to reconnecting with my peers and seeing where they’re at today,” Spicuzza said. “It’ll be a lot of fun and a lot of love.”

Berger agrees.

“It brings back a lot of memories,” he said. “It’s so much fun to share those memories.”

Especially when it comes to remembering how the program started, Berger said.

“It was fun to be the newbies starting the traditions,” he said.

Spicuzza agrees.

“We definitely made our mark on this program,” she said.

East Ridge theater director Amanda Hestwood agrees that the highlight of the Alumni Cabaret is seeing her former students again.

“It’s just the best,” she said. “It really is such an awesome day, whether or not there is a performance. It is just such a treat to spend the day with them and see how far they’ve come.

“It’s just exciting to have them back home at the Loft.”

Additionally, Spicuzza said, it’s a lot of fun to get to know the new theater students and see how they are shaping the program.

“We get to be introduced to the new people in the program,” she said, “who are continuing to do really cool things.”

Berger and Spicuzza, both currently attending the University of Minnesota, said the intent is to make the Alumni Cabaret annual, in hopes of one day putting together a full alumni musical.

“Although we are removed from that program and have gone down separate paths,” Berger said, “we still have that avenue to get back into performing .”

Amber Kispert-Smith

Amber Kispert-Smith has been the schools and Afton reporter at the Woodbury Bulletin since 2008. She holds a bachelor’s degree in journalism from the University of Minnesota. She previously worked as a reporter for Press Publications in White Bear Lake.

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