Cabaret has 21 shows lined up this season, including 6 bus tours for Gary Simboli

Photos by Tom Rivers: Gary Simboli is pictured at the Cabaret at Studio B in Albion last week when accompanied Albion native Kailey Winans during her performance. Simboli has developed his own show featuring music and anecdotes from his 35 years of directing high school musicals at Albion.

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 12 July 2019 at 8:42 am

Gary Simboli on Tuesday was recognized with the Uplinger Award by Albion Lions Club President Ron Albertson in recognition of Simboli’s career leading school musicals and directing the high school chorus and choirs. Simboli and his students also perform at many community events. The Uplinger Award is given for distinguished community service.

ALBION – An Albion teacher who has directed nearly 70 musicals at the high school the past 35 years will be the headline performer in six shows this summer at the Cabaret at Studio B.

Gary Simboli will be performing a show featuring music from many of the musicals, as well as some funny anecdotes from leading the shows.

Six bus tours have already signed up for the matinee shows that are scheduled for July 24, Aug. 6, Aug. 7, Aug. 13, Aug. 27 and Aug. 29, with a 1:15 start time for the first five, and the time to be determined for the last show.

Simboli has accompanied many of his students and other musicians in the community. This time he will be the main attraction through his show, “Musicals and Mischief.”

“There will be stories and songs from specific shows,” Simboli said. “I hope they will find it funny.”

Amy Sidari, owner of the Cabaret at Studio B, said Simboli is a gifted performer in his own right. He has performed with Marcy Downey, who has a longstanding relationship with bus tour companies. She urged Simboli to develop his own show and vouched for him with the bus tour companies.

The first six groups will be coming from the Rochester area. There will be seats at the Cabaret for community members, too.

“Not only will these people love Gary, they will love Albion, too,” Sidari said. “I really see Albion on an upswing.”

She expects the people on the bus tours to visit the downtown, which has seen several new businesses open in the past two years.

Sidari opened the Cabaret at Studio B in her dance studio six years ago, with Marcy Downey the first performer on July 28, 2013. Sidari routinely sells out shows with a capacity of 80 seats.

She features local musicians, some top high school performers and increasingly out-of-town professionals such as jazz singer Erin Boheme (returning on Aug. 24-25) and Dakota Horvath, a jazz singer from Chicago (performing Oct. 19 in Albion).

Kailey Winans, 28, performed last week at the Cabaret at Studio B. Winans is an Albion native who now lives in New York City.

Albion native Kailey Winans kicked off the summer season at the Cabaret last Friday with her show, “Dare to Dare … Happily Ever After.”

Winans, 28, performs in New York City at the Don’t Tell Momma cabaret. Her full-time job is as a nursery school teacher at Rockefeller University.

She graduated from Albion in 2008 and credited Simboli for developing her passion for music.

“I’ve learned pretty much everything I have about being a performer from him,” she said. “He would do everything he could for his kids. He is very selfless.”

Simboli accompanied Winans during her show last week and sang a duet with her, “It’s Now or Never.”

Ace Caldwell, the father of Amy Sidari, works on improvements to new studio space at Gotta Dance by Miss Amy.

Sidari is working to upgrade a third studio room at 28 West Bank St., where she has had her dance studio for 22 years. That new room will be multipurpose for dance, a “green room” for the performers to get ready, and also can be space for pop-up shops.

Her grand plan is to renovate the top floor of her building for the cabaret, which would expand the seating from the current 80 to at least 125.

Simboli is planning to retire as a teacher in the three years. He would like to perform at the expanded cabaret and cook for people as part of the event space. The new cabaret would lend itself to bus tours, and would be a draw to downtown Albion.

The next show at the Cabaret is this evening and features Crandall, Wood and Main. The show calendar then includes Enoch Martin, a 2019 Albion graduate, on July 19. Kerri Lynn Slominski, a Kendall graduate, will do an operatic show on July 27.

Click here to for more information on the shows.

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