c/o Sabrina Ladiwala, Editor-in-chief

c/o Spike Tape

The Spike Tape Cabaret returned to the Patricelli ’92 Theater for the second year in a row on Saturday, Sept. 30 at 7:00 p.m. The event lasted over an hour and a half and showcased 20 unique musical theater performances from students. With all the chairs in the ’92 filled and people standing in the back, the energy in the room was palpable. The audience was eager for the show to begin!

But first, they had to wait, and so do you. Kyra Kushner ’24 introduced the show and explained that this event is one way that Spike Tape tries to make theater accessible to everyone on campus, regardless of their experience level. Anyone can sign up to perform in the Spike Tape Cabaret. This push toward inclusion came through in the atmosphere of the show, which was pure fun, and attested to the bravery of these students and the respect they deserve for facing a crowd to perform these songs they truly love and care about.

After a few other opening announcements, the lights dimmed and the first performers made their way to center stage.

c/o Jake Rekrut

c/o Jake Rekrut

Quincy Segal ’26 and Drew Weddig ’24 kicked off the show with a duet of “What Would I Do?” from “Falsettos.” Next up was Saydie Grossman ’26 with an emotive and clear rendition of “Manhattan Bridge” from “Next Thing You Know,” followed by a playful performance by Oluchi Chukwuemeka ’25 and Jackson Palmer ’26 of “I’ll Cover You” from “Rent.”

Some performers came in costume, like Luz Rivera ’24, who looked the part of Regina George from the Broadway musical “Mean Girls” while singing “Someone Gets Hurt.” Amina Mednicoff-Misra ’24 and Gabriella Wilkerson ’24 were also dressed thematically as Glinda and Elphaba for their rendition of “What is This Feeling” from “Wicked.” Lael Blackmore ’26, Claire Edwards ’24, and Kayla Harrison ’26 took on the roles of the Heathers in “Candy Store” from “Heathers.” Dressed in full “Heathers” attire, their performance was all the more entertaining with their sassy dance moves choreographed by Blackmore. Another fun costume-accompanied song was “Agony” from “Into the Woods” sung by Lilah Steinberg ’25 and Lena Weiman ’25. Rather than traditional princely wardrobes, Steinberg and Weiman dressed in suits and drew fake mustaches and beards on their faces. This, along with their exaggerated facial expressions, had the audience in splits.

c/o Jake Rekrut

c/o Jake Rekrut

Talented pianists played the backing music for a number of the performances, but others provided their own accompaniment. While singing “Father Time” from “Kimberley Akimbo,” Steph Monard ’25 also played acoustic guitar, adding to the sentimentality of the song. Jesse Herrnson ’24 played piano while singing “30/90” from “Tick, Tick… BOOM!”

Although there could have been more diversity in the acts, which consisted only of show tune covers, the vocal performances varied from the pure ballad “With You” from “Pippin,” performed by Miles Allen ’24, to an ethereal a cappella rendition of “Nothing Changes” from “Hadestown” sung by Katherine Ball ’27, Abigail Grauer ’27, and Lauren Schweitzer ’27 to the soulful “I Didn’t Plan It” from “Waitress,” strongly sung by Alexandra Simon ’27. Our Disney dreams were realized when Harrison returned to sing “I See the Light” from “Tangled” like a true Disney princess while accompanied by talented guitarist Nat Wheeler ’25.

The pure talent on stage was apparent. Nora Sherman ’24 and Weddig harmonized beautifully during their performance of “Bad Idea” from “Waitress.” Danielle Garten ’24 and Danielle Nodelman ’24 also sang a duet, the iconic and powerful song “Apex Predator” from “Mean Girls.”

Towards the end of the show, there was an abundance of emotive soloists. Molly Volker ’26 sang the memorable and haunting ballad “I Don’t Know How to Love Him” from “Jesus Christ Superstar” that is still stuck in our heads. Lincoln Turner ’25, affectionately known on campus as Link Dog, beautifully delivered “What Would I Do If I Could Feel?” from the movie “The Wiz.” The multitalented president of Spike Tape, Charlotte George ’24, beautifully sang the soprano piece “I Don’t Care Much” from “Cabaret.” The rendition of “Beautiful City” from “Godspell” by Max Soley ’25 inspired awe-struck glances between the audience members. The show concluded with Sarah Linsly ’24, who performed “The Music That Makes Me Dance” from “Funny Girl,” which would have made Barbara Streisand herself shed a tear.

c/o Jake Rekrut

c/o Jake Rekrut

The show was meaningful to both audience and performer, and Grossman explained that Spike Tape shows like Cabaret improve theater on campus.

“I’m not only studying theater, but I wanted to have that kind of more chill, less academic environment of doing this kind of thing as well,” Grossman said. “And Spike Tape is just an incredible community of people.”

This Cabaret performance—and Spike Tape as a whole—gives theater majors and non-theater majors alike the opportunity to pursue theater in a place that is less serious and intense than an academic setting. 

“I think this kind of event is not as big of a time commitment,” Grossman said. “So it’s really nice to have that be more accessible.” 

The Spike Tape Cabaret itched the theater-kid part of my brain. The passion and support could be felt in the enthusiastic audience, their cheers a testament to the supportive ambiance that the Cabaret maintained. Spike Tape shows like Cabaret play a much needed role on campus as a safe haven for musical theater lovers to perform their favorite show tunes without judgment or pressure.

All in all, it was a great time, and we’re still in awe of the participants’ talent. Congratulations to all that took part, and to Spike Tape for another success!

Charlotte Seal can be reached at cseal@wesleyan.edu.

Maya Yanowitch can be reached at myanowitch@wesleyan.edu.