INDIANAPOLIS — The pandemic combined with frigid temperatures will have many people choosing to spend Valentine's Day curled up on the couch. But you can still celebrate the holiday with a little song, dance, and razzle-dazzle.
La La Love is an original performance from Magic Thread Cabaret, a Klein & Alvarez Productions brand. The Indianapolis theater company launched in 2015 to showcase local performers and performers with an Indiana connection.
The February show will feature two central Indiana natives who would be in New York right now, if not for the pandemic. Melissa Schott and Cory Lingner's situations shine a light on how deeply the COVID crisis is impacting entertainers and artists in New York, including countless talented Hoosiers.
"If the pandemic didn't happen, I would be in New York and I actually had three gigs lined up for the year 2020 and of course none of those happened," Lingner said. He was in rehearsals for a project when the city started to shut down. "As soon as that happened, I just packed some bags and made my way back here to my hometown in Indianapolis and have been with my family for a good majority of that time."
Schott also returned to Indianapolis. La La Love will be her and Lingner's first performance since the start of the pandemic.
“You don't realize how much you miss something until you step back up on the stage," she said.
Both have previously worked with Magic Thread Cabaret. The opportunity for La La Love came about after the theater's co-founders, Tom Alvarez and Dustin Klein, learned the two performers were back in town.
"They were in talks to see what we could come up with to conceptualize a show that maybe could be streamed and I loved the idea," said Lingner.
The show's title is a playful take on the film La La Land. Musical numbers made famous on Broadway will make up part of the show. It will also include other genres like jazz, R&B, and pop music.
The performance is billed as a virtual valentine, but the stars say you do not have to be in a romantic relationship to enjoy it.
"We also interject some comical moments and realizing that maybe not everybody's in a relationship," Schott said. "Sometimes relationships go bad, and so there's some songs that represent that, there's some songs that are just very joyous and happy and positive."
Schott hopes the universal theme of love uplifts viewers, especially during this difficult time.
"Really what I think that everybody needs right now is love and kindness and just being good to one another and we hope that that comes through in the concert," Schott said.
Lingner stresses that by watching La La Love, you are supporting the arts in your own backyard.
"This is a great way to tune in and not only be entertained by Melissa and myself but to support a local arts company like Magic Thread Cabaret," Lingner said.
The performance will take place at the Phoenix Theatre in downtown Indianapolis, without an audience. You can livestream it at 8:00 p.m. on February 11. It will be available on-demand February 12-14. For more information go to magicthreadcabaret.com.