NETCS Cabaret: Sulphur Springs’ answer to the Great White Way

WHAT: North East Texas Choral Society Cabaret Masquerade Ball
WHEN: Tonight, 7 p.m.
WHERE: First United Methodist Church Family Life Center
Tickets are $30 and can be purchased at the door.

By TERRY MATHEWS | News-Telegram Arts Editor

Feb. 11, 2007 - If you love Broadway but can’t travel to New York, there is no need to despair. Musical theatre is alive and well and living right here in Hopkins County, thanks to the talented men and women of the North East Texas Choral Society. 

Even though it was a raw and bitter night outside, the gym at the Family Life Center of the First United Methodist Church was transformed into a set reminiscent of “A Midsummer’s Night Dream,” complete with hundreds of yards of white gauze draped from ceiling to floor. Special lighting set the mood — candles danced on each table and an elegant white chandelier twinkled in the center of the room. 

At last night’s opening of the Cabaret Masquerade Ball, the choral society’s annual fundraiser, the audience enjoyed a lovely dinner, catered by local chef Juan Olvera, and served by chorus members. 

A quartet made up by Loren Seely, Jeff Smith, Joe Clark and Ken Hanushek provided background music, treating diners to such classics as “I Can’t Get Started With You,” “Summertime” and “My Funny Valentine.”

The chorus opened the evening with “Be Our Guest,” from “Beauty and the Beast,” with emcee Mike Dodd telling the crowd, “Not only do we serve you food, we entertain you, too.”

Deanna and Gary Spraggins followed with “Do You Love Me?,” a lovely duet from “Fiddler on the Roof.” 

Beth Alsobrook turned into Sulphur Springs’ own Queen Latifah as she delivered “When You’re Good to Mama,” from the 1997 revival of Bob Fosse’s “Chicago.”

Next, the chorus took to the stage and performed “Seasons of Love,” one of the more memorable numbers from the 1996 Tony-award winning hit “Rent.”

What would a musical review be without girl singers? Linda Riddle sang “Can’t Help Lovin’ That Man” from “Showboat," and Betty Holder turned herself into Dolly Levi for a show-stopping rendition of the title tune from “Hello, Dolly!”

The men had their moments, too, performing “There is Nothing Like a Dame,” from Oscar and Hammerstein’s “South Pacific.”

The guys were shooed off the stage when the women belted out their own “South Pacific” number, “I’m Going to Wash That Man Right Outta My Hair,” wearing a full compliment of bathrobes and shower caps.

The audience wasn’t left out of the fun. The chorus led everyone in “Do-Re-Mi” from “The Sound of Music” and “Oh, What a Beautiful Morning” from “Oklahoma!”

One of the evening’s highlights was a dueling piano number from Ken Hanushek and Denise Grammer, with Grammer (who wrote the piece) firing the first shot at the microphone by singing, “Anything he can play, I can play better,” a send-up of the famous number from “Annie Get Your Gun.” 

The two big guns battled it out, with Grammer finally getting the better of Hanushek as she banged out a rousing “Chopsticks.” An appreciative audience gave the pair a standing ovation.

Brooke Howard sang “Think of Me,” from one of Broadway’s most successful productions, “Phantom of the Opera, ” casting a romantic spell and leading the way for Mike Dodd and Waylon Jordan’s duet to “In Her Eyes” from “The Secret Garden.”

The lights then went down and members of the chorus roamed through the crowd with tiny flashlights, singing “Hernando’s Hideaway” from the 1955 hit, “The Pajama Game.”

Mike Dodd and Lydia Walden performed the final duet of the evening, “The Phantom of the Opera,” with Dodd in complete Phantom regalia.

The evening came to a close with the choral society's signature benediction, led by NETCS Director Carol Allen.

Tickets are $30 each and are available for tonight’s performance. They may be purchased at the door.

Treat your special valentine to an evening of good food, good company and a fabulous playbill of the best of the 42nd Street, right here in your own back yard.


If you love Broadway but can’t travel to New York, there is no need to despair. Musical theatre is alive and well and living right here in Hopkins County, thanks to the talented men and women of the North East Texas Choral Society. 

Even though it was a raw and bitter night outside, the gym at the Family Life Center of the First United Methodist Church was transformed into a set reminiscent of “A Midsummer’s Night Dream,” complete with hundreds of yards of white gauze draped from ceiling to floor. Special lighting set the mood — candles danced on each table and an elegant white chandelier twinkled in the center of the room. 

At last night’s opening of the Cabaret Masquerade Ball, the choral society’s annual fundraiser, the audience enjoyed a lovely dinner, catered by local chef Juan Olvera, and served by chorus members. 

A quartet made up by Loren Seely, Jeff Smith, Joe Clark and Ken Hanushek provided background music, treating diners to such classics as “I Can’t Get Started With You,” “Summertime” and “My Funny Valentine.”

The chorus opened the evening with “Be Our Guest,” from “Beauty and the Beast,” with emcee Mike Dodd telling the crowd, “Not only do we serve you food, we entertain you, too.”

Deanna and Gary Spraggins followed with “Do You Love Me?,” a lovely duet from “Fiddler on the Roof.” 

Beth Alsobrook turned into Sulphur Springs’ own Queen Latifah as she delivered “When You’re Good to Mama,” from the 1997 revival of Bob Fosse’s “Chicago.”

Next, the chorus took to the stage and performed “Seasons of Love,” one of the more memorable numbers from the 1996 Tony-award winning hit “Rent.”

What would a musical review be without girl singers? Linda Riddle sang “Can’t Help Lovin’ That Man” from “Showboat," and Betty Holden turned herself into Dolly Levi for a show-stopping rendition of the title tune from “Hello, Dolly!”

The men had their moments, too, performing “There is Nothing Like a Dame,” from Oscar and Hammerstein’s “South Pacific.”

The guys were shooed off the stage when the women belted out their own “South Pacific” number, “I’m Going to Wash That Man Right Outta My Hair,” wearing a full compliment of bathrobes and shower caps.

The audience wasn’t left out of the fun. The chorus led everyone in “Do-Re-Mi” from “The Sound of Music” and “Oh, What a Beautiful Morning” from “Oklahoma!”

One of the evening’s highlights was a dueling piano number from Ken Hanushek and Denise Grammer, with Grammer (who wrote the piece) firing the first shot at the microphone by singing, “Anything he can play, I can play better,” a send-up of the famous number from “Annie Get Your Gun.” 

The two big guns battled it out, with Grammer finally getting the better of Hanushek as she banged out a rousing “Chopsticks.” An appreciative audience gave the pair a standing ovation.

Brooke Howard sang “Think of Me,” from one of Broadway’s most successful productions, “Phantom of the Opera, ” casting a romantic spell and leading the way for Mike Dodd and Waylon Jordan’s duet to “In Her Eyes” from “The Secret Garden.”

The lights then went down and members of the chorus roamed through the crowd with tiny flashlights, singing “Hernando’s Hideaway” from the 1955 hit, “The Pajama Game.”

Mike Dodd and Lydia Walden performed the final duet of the evening, “The Phantom of the Opera,” with Dodd in complete ‘Phantom’ regalia.

Tickets are $30 each and are still available for tonight’s performance, which begins with dinner being served about 7 p.m. Tickets may be purchased at the door.

Older Archives

Looking for News-Telegram Sports and News Archives for January 2004 - November 2008