On Stage

Cabaret at the Merc Celebrates a New Generation of Musical Theater

Since 2012, the Barn Stage Company’s Co-Producers J. Scott Lapp and Jordan Beck have been bringing Broadway-caliber musical theater to Temecula audiences with their popular monthly series Cabaret at the Merc. After highlighting such songwriting greats as Rodgers & Hammerstein, Stephen Sondheim and Andrew Lloyd Webber in many past performances, this month’s Cabaret at the Merc, Generation: Next, aims the spotlight on those songwriters and shows just recently emerging from the shadows.

“The Barn Stage Company and Cabaret at The Merc are devoted to the development and nurturing of new musical theater works,” Lapp said during a recent interview. “Generation: Next will celebrate some of the best up-and-coming songwriters of this generation; the people writing for Broadway that you just haven’t heard about yet.”

Presented at the 48-seat The Merc Theater in Old Town Temecula on Sunday, April 24th, Generation: Next will include selections from several songwriting teams and individuals including Pasek & Paul, Kinosian & Blair, Ryan Scott Oliver, Kerrigan & Lowdermilk, Zachary & Weiner and many more; each piece chosen by the performers themselves.

Although audiences may not be familiar with the music, Lapp insists the originality of the works only adds excitement to the experience.

“Generation: Next is wonderful because it exposes the audience to new music and the next wave of Broadway shows,” he said. “You might not know the songs and be able to sing along but, for me, I love hearing what else is out there. We have such a passion for working with writers to help in their development of new pieces so a night of new music with some pretty incredible voices seemed like the right thing to do.”

Since the inception of Cabaret at the Merc in 2012, Beck and Lapp have grown into the Barn Stage Company, complete with a new home at the Truax Building in Old Town. The Barn Stage Company’s 2015-2016 Summer Series included full performances of some of Broadway’s hottest new shows such as Spring Awakening, Urinetown: The Musical and The Last Five Years.

 But despite the significantly larger scale of recent productions, the producing duo of Beck and Lapp will continue to delight audiences with their original local collaboration, Cabaret at the Merc, by presenting innovative new and exciting themes and musical selections.

“Our goal is to preserve, strengthen and advance musical theater as a vital social and cultural platform by creating experiences for our audiences of the highest professional standards,” Lapp said. “With our youthful spirit and eclectic, artist-driven approach, we aim to provide an environment for the growth and education of theater professionals, our audiences, and the Temecula Valley community at large.”

Hosted monthly by Jon Sangster and Jackary Scot Wolfe, Cabaret at the Merc has produced Broadway revues as well as theme nights dedicated to the works of popular artists like Elton John, Billy Joel and the upcoming tribute, The Music of Abba, later this month. For tickets and information on Cabaret at the Merc, visit the Old Town Temecula Community Theater’s website at www.temeculatheater.org.

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Holly Herndon

Holly Herndon

Holly has been covering arts & entertainment in the Temecula Valley for as long as she has been a part of the community. She loves San Diego sports almost as much as she loves her family.

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