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Ohio Summer Valley Theatre practicing for Love Is: A Musical Cabaret. (Provided via Devin Sudman)

Ohio Valley Summer Theatre fundraiser to showcase all aspects of love

Love is one of the most powerful emotions, especially around the time of Valentine’s Day. Ohio Valley Summer Theatre (OVST) wants to highlight all the different aspects of love through a night of music, dinner and pure entertainment.

Ohio University Inn’s Ballroom will hold the Love Is: A Musical Cabaret event, which will showcase local singers and OVST alumni, performing songs from musicals such as Dear Evan Hansen, Wicked, All Shook Up, Cabaret, Annie Get Your Gun, Little Shop of Horrors, Hamilton and more. The performers are Alexis Parsons, Carter Rice, Devin Sudman, Kevin Kunz and Samantha Pelham.

Pelham is the vice president for OVST and is performing “Seasons of Love” from Rent with the rest of the performers and is a soloist on “What I Did For Love” from A Chorus Line and “Fools Fall In Love” from All Shook Up. She is also performing “Anything You Can Do I Can Do Better” from Annie Get Your Gun with her boyfriend, Kevin Kunz. 

“To be able to bring that music to life and share the music that I love with the community for a really good fundraiser just makes performing all the better,” Pelham said.

Even after 69 years, the group still aims to provide a professional and impactful summer mainstage production in coordination with OU, as well as an educational Youth Summer Camp through ARTS/West. To continue its efforts in theater education, OVST using the Love Is: A Musical Cabaret event as a fundraiser for its 2020 season.

People are encouraged to come either single or in couples, with pricing either $45 for a single or $80 for a couple. There will also be a cash bar available for the guests.

The performances will be accompanied by dinner for the guests, served by OU Inn’s Cutler’s restaurant. The options for dinner include roasted pork loin, grilled chicken or a vegetarian and vegan option of pappardelle pasta. There will also be salads, desserts and more for people to enjoy while watching the show.

Devin Sudman is the development director and music director for OVST. Not only is he performing at the fundraiser, but he is also in charge of organizing it. 

“We need to have opportunities that are mainly focused on our community and giving our face to people that we would see outside of OU,” Sudman said. “We started in 1951 and we are in our 69th year now, so you know, that’s only happened by being active in the community.”

Alexis Parsons is the president of the board of trustees for OVST. She is performing “Suddenly Seymour” from Little Shop of Horrors, “Maybe This Time” from Cabaret and “For Good” from Wicked.

Parsons also believes local outreach is such an important part of the theater company. 

“Obviously we love all aspects of art and theater, and this is just a variation of that,” Parsons said. “It’s a chance for us to get more personal with the community and do a performance on a more intimate scale.” 

Pelham, Sudman and Parsons are all hopeful that the event will be a success. Not only a success for the budget for their children’s camp and summer production, but also for the people attending. Their hope is that the people attending will have a great Valentine’s Day experience while exploring every aspect of love: the good, the bad and everything in between. 

In the spirit of love, the performers are all excited to share the experiences of the fundraiser together.

“The people performing are all very close friends, so it’s meaningful that we all get to perform together,” Parsons said.


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