Those looking to ring in the New Year just a little early with some live entertainment can start it off with two New Year’s-themed cabaret performances at 6:30 and 8 p.m. on Dec. 30 at The Merc in Old Town Temecula.
The musical performance has been put together by directors J. Scott Lapp and Jordan Beck, and is part of a long line of shows that have been conducted at The Merc every last Sunday of the month.
Past shows have included an evening of Billy Joel, Sondheim-inspired contemporary theater and a performance based on the popular rock-musical Rent.
The show, planned for Dec. 30, will have its own countdown for the New Year followed by a champagne toast and sparkling cider for anyone under 21 years of age.
Lapp and Beck will both host the show, introducing various singers who are set to play hits by artists from the 30s, 40s and 50s.
“We will be doing songs from the Great American Songbook, as well as classical Broadway,” Beck said, adding that the list of music would include numbers by Johnny Mercer, Irving Berlin and Frank Sinatra.
First-timers to the The Merc will find that it has a very intimate atmosphere. With a brick wall interior and tables scattered about, the venue gives off an agreeable vibe that is much different than that of the main community theater.
It’s also smaller than more traditional venues, allowing the audience to be immersed in the performance since the stage is no more than a few feet away from any point in the room.
Lapp and Beck both agreed that the cozy, intimate atmosphere of The Merc is what really brings the musical performances to life for the audience.
“Because it is such an intimate venue, you don’t have the flash of theater,” Lapp said. “You just have the performer in the raw selling you the song and it’s a very special experience.”
Ticket prices are $20 for selected seating,and $15 dollars for students carrying a valid photo I.D.
Those worried about not being able to get tickets for the first show need not worry, according to Lapp, who said that if the first show sells out, a second performance will follow at about 8 p.m.
The Merc is located at 42051 Main Street in Old Town Temecula.
For tickets or to learn more, call 866-653-8696 or visit temeculatheater.org.
Alex Groves is a local writer and new contributor to SWRNN.