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Hold Onto Your Seats

by Ruth Ann Ruiz
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By Ruth Ann Ruiz

The Post Newspaper Features Editor 

For the next year, we will have a new-to-Galveston-County professional entertainment option to enjoy without the need to mess with a long stretch of Interstate 45. 

The Music Box Theater is coming to Galveston County and yes, it is “The” with a capital T, unlike some of the groups whose music they perform such as the Eagles, who are just Eagles, but we put ‘the’ in front of them with a lowercase t.

The “the” lesson was part of a comedy sketch of The Music Box Theater Sunday in Houston. No need to feel shame for using ‘the,’ we kind of need to put ‘the’ in front of some words. It’s a grammar thing. 

With their home base in Houston, The Music Box Theater fills its small venue with an audience who have come to enjoy their cabaret-style musical show. Songs are selected from all genres and all periods of America’s recording history. 

There is not a moment of boredom or wasted time between musical numbers because between each song, some type of comedy is being offered on stage by the performers. 

Though you might not always get their humor, or you might not enjoy a song, just wait because the next thing you know, there will be another song and something funny that does appeal to you. 

Founders Rebekah Dahl and Brad Scarborough had let me know in advance that their variety of music and comedy was able to hold the attention of a skeptical crowd. I found theirs to be an accurate assessment. 

The show moved along at a pace that kept the audience laughing, or clapping, or exclaiming, “Wow, how beautiful!”

Their current show is titled “Damaged Divas of the Decades,” which means those musicians with a scandalous life story are part of their lineup of songs. This theme kind of begs the question, “Who was not included?” 

Each musical number was matched with the performers who were able to recreate the persona of the original performer with a flair that included their own interpretation, at times a bit exaggerated and at other times deeply respectful. 

One of the female musicians, Cay Taylor, took the stage to deliver Britney Spears’ song, “Oops I Did It Again.” Rather than transporting audience members back to the year 2000, the performance was a bit like going way back to female singing styles of pre-WWII with a little whisper of Marilyn Monroe rolled into the delivery. 

Judy Garland, played by Rebekah Dahl, made a ghostly appearance throughout the show. Judy became more and more inebriated as the show went along, which added to the humor. Rebekah’s talent with accents from various regions of our nation across various time periods along with portraying an intoxicated scenario was part of the high caliber of the overall show.

Laughter took over the crowd when Luke Wrobel, playing Jimmy Stewart, walked onto the stage. Wrobel could hardly get a line out without someone somewhere in the small space bursting into laughter. 

A commitment to rehearsals and practicing till you don’t make a mistake was demonstrated by the polished delivery of each musical number and each comedic skit. 

Showcasing a diverse music lineup meant the band members also had to bring a diverse set of skills to accompany the singers, and they rose to the occasion. Their accompaniment was in step with creating a professional quality performance. 

The show weaved in and out of being a rousing musical, presenting escapades that were lighthearted with a let’s-all-laugh-and-enjoy-ourselves spirit and then transitioning into moments with moving, spiritual qualities. 

When the song called for a hushed, sacred tone, bass guitarist Long Le accompanied the singer on cello. Whatever the mood needed to be conveyed, it had been well thought out in instrumentation selection and in the passionate delivery by the musicians. 

Their show is more than just performers being on stage and showing off their talents. It’s about performers connecting with their audience and eliciting an interaction that involves not just words but the mood of the audience as it responds to the performance.

Keeping their performance space small adds to the connection they have with the audience, explained Brad and Rebekah. According to the duo, the venue in Galveston County will also be a small intimate area allowing for an authentic connection between performers and their audience. 

Rebekah explained how they came to have the honor of performing for a weekly time slot at Lago Mar. “The developers came and watched our show in Houston and asked us to come be part of their location,” said Rebekah. 

It took about a year to get all the details worked out before The Music Box Theater would be able to present to Galveston County on a regular basis.

 “We performed at Christmas time at the Blue Lagoon and then made suggestions for changes to improve the sound quality,” Brad said. “They have been working on those changes, and now the room is ready.”

When the show is brought to Lago Mar, it will not be The Music Box Theater, it will be Music Box South. Even though the performers won’t be bringing The’ with them, they promise to bring the same high-quality performances that they deliver to their Houston audience without the long drive for those who live south of the Loop. 

Music Box South will be on stage in Galveston County for at least one year, according to Brad and Rebekah. Shows will be on Thursday evenings at Lago Mar in the Blue Lagoon Bar and Grill starting this Thursday, March 28 at 7 p.m. 

Each themed cabaret show usually runs for six weeks, and then the cast and musicians bring out a new show. Their next show will be titled “The 90s Experience”. Then they will move into their summer show, which they call “Feeling Groovy.” It features 60s and 70s music.

For more information and ticket prices, visit www.themusicboxtheater.com or call 713-522-7722.

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1 comment

Kevin March 30, 2024 - 12:59 am

Sounds like an enchanting, Vaudeville-styled show. How wonderful! Engagingly written and entertaining article, Ruth!


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