If you were a Huntsville High School (HHS) student in the 1990s, you likely remember the Black Whole Cabaret. And thanks to the power of technology, you can revisit it, pandemic-style, online tonight (May 9).
Tonight at 7 p.m., the Huntsville Festival of the Arts will take you back in time with a special online concert fundraiser featuring Huntsville High School alumni.
The Black Whole Cabaret was a monthly variety show led by students with the support of the fantastic staff at HHS, like Doug Raisbeck and Colin Oke.
Featuring live performances of music, drama and spoken word, the Black Whole Cabaret was a vital creative outlet for young people and an important piece in Huntsville’s cultural life and the artistic development of its young people.
“It was student-driven and a very popular format for kids to show their creativity and work together,” says Dan Watson, executive director of the Huntsville Festival of the Arts, who was also a student at HHS in the ’90s. “Hawksley Workman played in that. All kinds of creative people came out of it.”
And now, for one night only, the Black Whole Quarantine Reunion, a live concert on Zoom, aims to celebrate those magical evenings, to connect old friends in the middle of this pandemic and to raise much-needed funds for local food banks.
The event is co-organized by Marcia Kuehnen, Andreana Hudson, and Dan Watson with the support of the Huntsville Festival of the Arts.
“I’ve always wanted to bring the Black Whole back,” says co-organizer Marcia Kuehnen. “It was such an important part of our lives. It taught us so much about creativity, collaboration and cultivated life-long friendships.”
“The challenge was ‘how do you get all those people in the same place?’,” adds Hudson. “Once the pandemic hit, and we saw everyone was using Zoom, we realized that it would be the perfect platform for the Black Whole’s return.”
The night will feature 20 different music and spoken word performances, both live and prerecorded, along with tributes and a number of special surprise guests. The Zoom platform will also allow concert-goers the chance to see each other and connect through the chat function.
“HfA is thrilled to support this event,” says co-organizer Dan Watson who is also the executive director of the Huntsville Festival of the Arts. “We work to strengthen our community through the arts. The event does exactly that by bringing people together during this time of isolation, celebrating homegrown talent and raising funds to support local service providers.”
Proceeds from the online concert will support local food banks at The Table Soup Kitchen Foundation and the Salvation Army. Tickets are $5; additional donations are gladly accepted and can be made at checkout. Once tickets are purchased, guests will be sent a link and information on how to join the meeting.
Community members can also join in the fun by contributing to the closing musical performance of “The Weight” by the Band. The event is seeking video submissions of people singing the song that will then be edited together for the final number.
Tickets are available here.
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