Five hundred Georgetown students became rock stars last Thursday and Saturday nights. The cosmic forces of the beyond overcame the Black Cat crowd, and suddenly everyone was on stage. Song after song, rock stars on stage lived out the dreams of rock stars in the crowd, and the spirit was overwhelmed.

All dreams became relative. The closer you were to the music, the higher the evening brought you, as every performer commanded the stage and brought down the house. George Michael, Janis Joplin, Bruce Springstein, Beck, even Marvin Gaye, all the stars who know how to ignite the crowd showed up through the renditions of the all-star cast of Cabaret 2001.

As the night wore on, I kept having the feeling I can best describe as the “CVS generic brand feeling.” I knew that I had spent $8 to see a group of my peers put on a show for charity. I had not shelled out the $50-plus it costs to see a “real” show headlined by a group like U2 or Dido.

It’s similar to when I do not spend $10 on a bottle of Vicks “DayQuil” but instead spend $3 on a bottle of CVS “Daytime.” I flip over the boxes and realize that all of the active ingredients are the same. And I end up with the same amount of relief from the medicine and even greater satisfaction with the product as a whole, since it was a better deal. Cabaret had all the active ingredients and a few extra vitamins and minerals to spare.

But don’t just take my word for it. I was at the shows as a proud housemate of the Cabaret drummer Jesse Driscoll (SFS ’01) first and foremost. For all you know, I could be giving you a report like the proud mother of the first clarinet in the eighth grade band. Of course, I loved it; I had a vested interest.

Then again, a lot of the crowd came out to see their favorite singer or band member. The gathering each night was sprinkled with proud parents of the performers and recent alums who came back to see friends. So the wholly unattached opinion might be hard to come by. Many performers who were rock stars on stage are also rock stars during the week through their other activities and commitments. And that’s what makes it so cool.

My one warning goes out to the underclassmen who did not see the show. Please do yourself the service of seeing Cabaret before you are a senior. Otherwise you rob yourself of the opportunity of trying out for the following year’s production. Juniors, if you made the same mistake as me and missed the show, be prepared to kick yourself when you get home after the show next year.

Lots of people want to be rock stars. It has never been a set career goal of mine, but I still had the urge while I was standing out in the crowd this past weekend. I wished that I could jump up on the stage and belt out the next song. In spite of my permanent, and appropriate, status in the crowd and not on stage, all the sounds and feelings were worth far more than the price of admission, and I have all the performers to thank.

Just Looking appears Tuesdays in The Hoya.

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