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Out Boulder County presents an evening of cabaret, community and cause – Boulder Daily Camera

Out Boulder County presents an evening of cabaret, community and cause – Boulder Daily Camera


When was the last time a Grammy and Emmy-winning music director, Broadway star and three-time RuPauls Drag Race contestant teamed up to perform in little ol' Boulder? Unfortunately, the answer is never.

But this weekend, everything is about to change.

On April 12, renowned music director John McDaniel, Phantom of the Opera star Hugh Panaro and Drag Queen icon Latrice Royale will come together at the Boulder Theater to bring Boulder an evening of Broadway shows, drag and dance with Cabaret on the Rocks. . Presented to a lucky audience by Out Boulder County, proceeds from the event will benefit Out Boulder County's mission to create an inclusive, equitable and connected world for LGBTQ+ people in Boulder and beyond.

Typically, to see performances of this caliber you have to travel to New York, but thanks to Boulder residents Greg Hansen and Jeff Bernardy, recruiting talent for Cabaret on the Rocks was a breeze.

I have a lifelong passion for all things music and theater,” Bernardy said in a press release. I began producing fundraising events for AIDS charities in 1989. Cabaret on the Rocks is my way of combining my love of theater with my compassion for the multitude of people in my life who have been affected by the AIDS epidemic.

Grammy and Emmy-winning musical director John McDaniel will perform at Cabaret on the Rocks, presented by Out Boulder County.  (Steve Ullathorne/Courtesy photo)
Grammy and Emmy-winning musical director John McDaniel will perform at Cabaret on the Rocks, presented by Out Boulder County. (Steve Ullathorne/Courtesy photo)

According to Mardi Moore, executive director of Out Boulder County, Hansen and Bernardy came up with the idea for Cabaret on the Rocks as a way to put Out Boulder County as well as Boulder's queer community in the spotlight.

When they approached me with this idea, they said: On Tuesday, people need to know about the great work Boulder County is doing. We need to reach people who may not come to Pride events, Moore explained.

One of the things about Boulder is that it changes quickly. But what we found was that many LGBTQ+ people moved to the city during the pandemic and were in lockdown, so the community is just starting to rebuild. We think it's a great opportunity for people who have moved here from New York, San Francisco, Taos, Santa Fe, to realize that there is not only a community here, but also great art .

Although Boulder is a few thousand miles from Broadway, for Panaro who made his Broadway debut as Marius in Les Misrables and appeared in more than 2,000 Broadway productions as the Phantom in The Ghost of the Opera, participating in Cabaret on the Rocks was worth it. -country flight.

I met Jeff and Greg on a Broadway cruise in Egypt and knew they were wonderful human beings. “I knew that if they helped organize all of this, then the event would be beautiful and heartfelt,” Panaro said. But the most important thing is the cause itself.

Broadway star Hugh Panaro will take the stage Friday, April 12 at Cabaret on the Rocks.  (Katie Bleacher/Courtesy photo)
Broadway star Hugh Panaro will take the stage Friday, April 12 at Cabaret on the Rocks. (Katie Bleacher/Courtesy photo)

On Tuesday, Panaro spent the day with members of Out Boulder County attending several county colleges as part of an outreach program, where he was able to connect with younger members of Boulders' queer community.

I have had the opportunity to speak with children who are part of the community and who need love, attention and support. And that’s what this whole event is about: feeding a part of the community that isn’t always fed. So coming here was a no-brainer, Panaro said. One of the things we talked about with these kids was this idea of ​​chosen family. When I got into theater, I found that my cast or crew felt like the family I needed and wanted, but didn't necessarily come from my biological family. Sometimes, as adults or children, we are not loved unconditionally by our blood relatives. So it is very important to have a community in which we feel loved and accepted.

Panaro says her Friday night performance will be, in equal parts, both accessible and personal, telling some stories from her early days in theater and dazzling the crowd with show tunes from her time on Broadway.

The evening will feature music by McDaniel, dancing and a performance by Royale, and as rumored, a surprise performance by the award-winning Denver Gay Mens Chorus. And, of course, you can't have cabaret without a charismatic host, a role that Jordan Chavez, the beloved morning anchor of 9NEWS in Denver, will take on on television.

Over the past five years, Out Boulder County has experienced significant growth, marked by a six-fold increase in its operating budget. This expansion allowed Out Boulder County to expand the reach of its programs in Northern Colorado, a much-needed effort that has strengthened support for LGBTQ+ youth and community members beyond the county.

Members of the Fort Collins area community came to us and asked if we could offer our youth programs to them. They looked at the Healthy Kids Colorado survey and saw how LGBTQ+ children fare poorly in terms of mental health, having a trusted adult in their lives and feeling part of the community, Moore said about expansion.

Through this growth, we have been able to take our voice, our organizing skills and our in-depth knowledge of the community and share them with people outside of Boulder County, she added.

Events like Cabaret on the Rocks provide the community with an opportunity to build the financial foundation needed to help Out Boulder County develop and support instrumental programs for youth and adults.

Tickets for Cabaret on the Rocks range from $50 for general admission to $150 for premium seating.

Our events director made sure the ticket price fit everyone's budget and wallet, Moore said. And for $50, who wouldn't want to be taken to Broadway for the night?

For more information on the show and tickets, visit To learn more about Out Boulder County, visit




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