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Local Theater Talents Take Center Stage with Songs of Broadway

Cirillo Theatre's Broadway Cabaret will be held on Sat., Jan. 14 at 7:30 p.m.

It's not everyday that Broadway Theater passes through Central Connecticut, but that's what a group of some of the region's brightest on-stage talents will present Saturday during Windsor-based Cirillo Theatre's Broadway Cabaret.

Over the years, the 45-year-old educational theatre troupe, which comprises young drama and music enthusiasts from throughout the region, has entertained audiences throughout the region and provided musical theater educations to a great number of students and young adults along the way.

"Theater instills confidence, it teaches responsibility, it especially teaches teamwork," says Cirillo Theatre Artistic Director Susan Vinick, who was a part of the group as a student and young adult from 1972-82.

It was the education and stage experience provided by the Theatre - named after the late Ernest P. Cirillo, a former Windsor High School drama and English teacher - that has led Vinick to building a career in musical theater and raising a daughter, Karen, who has been a Cirillo member since 2002 and plans to teach music education following her college graduation in May.

Karen Vinick has directed Cirillo's junior division (ages 8-14) for the last seven seasons and started the Braodway Cabaret tradition.

As a high school senior in 2005, Vinick was required to complete a community service project as a part of her civics class. Understanding that theater serves the greater community, and wanting to incorporate her love for the arts, she decided to put on a night of music from Broadway shows and give the proceeds to Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS (BC/EFA).

Cirillo Theatre continues to raise money for BC/EFA, contributing money collected during its bigger summer productions, but the cabaret event has grown a great deal from its roots, now serving as a fundraiser that makes the group's main productions financially possible.

Proceeds go towards paying royalties, renting scripts, lighting, sound, musical directors, choreographers, building sets and costumes — all for this summer's production, Pippin.

Saturday's performance marks the culmination of four weeks of hard work for the group of students and young adults, and the end of a ten-year career in the group of Karen Vinick, who, following graduation in May from the City College of New York, plans to teach music education in The Big Apple.

But while her Cirillo career is coming to an end, another is beginning.

Saturday's performance marks the senior-division debut for 13-year-old Jade King, who Susan and Karen Vinick describe as "phenomenal," "amazing."

King, a Sage Park Middle School student, will be singing "Easy to be Hard," from Hair.

In all, twelve Cirillo performers will sing pieces from 24 different musicals that range from the most well-known (Les Miserables, Rent, West Side Story) to the more obscure.

Broadway Cabaret is a one-night-only show. Tickets will be available at the door on Sat., Jan. 14. The curtain goes up at 7:30 p.m at . Tickets cost $12 for general admission; $10 for students under the age of 18 and seniors 65 and over.

Those interested in auditioning for Cirillo Theatre's 2012 musical production, Pippin, can write to Susan Vinick at suejvin@cox.net.

Pippin auditions are for students and young adults who are aged 14-24. Those interested in information about Cirillo's junior division (8-14) are also encouraged to contact Vinick at suejvin@cox.net.

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