Vocalist performs in black box theater
What do you call a theater that is a big, square box with black walls, black ceiling, and black backdrops?
At Tabor College, it is named Prieb-Harder Black Box Theater. Located in Shari Flaming Center for the Arts, it has a flat floor and multiple uses, including as a practice room for theatrical performances and recitals.
David Vogel, a Tabor graduate, gave a vocal performance there Friday, featuring songs from Broadway musicals and shows that were popular in the 1940s and 1950s.
The austere surroundings kept the audience free of distractions and focused on the performer and his backup band, which included his father, Brad Vogel, on piano, Bruce Major on drums, and David Martens on electric bass guitar.
The theater has excellent acoustics which allow performers to be stationed anywhere in the room using flexible staging techniques. Vogel and his band were situated on a low platform positioned at one end of the room. The audience sat in folding chairs.
Vogel said his interest in Broadway music began when, as a five-year-old, he accompanied his father to musical rehearsals at Haven High School.
He said the golden age of Broadway began with Rogers and Hammerstein’s “Oklahoma.” The songs he sang included “Young Lovers” from “The King and I,” “They Say Falling in Love is Wonderful” from “Annie Get your Gun,” “Old Devil Moon” from “Finian’s Rainbow,” and “Over the Rainbow” from the “Wizard of Oz.”
In the 1960s, Broadway shows became more melancholy and risqué, Vogel said. He found one song that still had the old feelings, finishing his performance with a rousing rendition of “Hello, Dolly, from 1964.
Vogel has recorded two CDs and has led a Down-Home Christmas Concert for two years. Hosted by Hillsboro Chamber of Commerce, this year’s concert is scheduled for Nov. 29 at Hillsboro M.B. Church.