‘Kiss&Tell’ Valentine’s cabaret puts romantic duos onstage at Moonlight


In the theater world, there’s that magical phenomenon known as the “showmance” — a love affair that sparks when two people meet in a stage production.

Of course, not all of those romances last beyond the actual run of the show. So hats off (and rings on) to the five married theater couples — or nearly so, in one case — who will take the stage Friday for “Kiss&Tell,” a special Valentine’s cabaret event from Moonlight Stage Productions.

The idea was the brainstorm of Moonlight managing director Colleen Kollar Smith, who happens to be married to the actor-playwright Lance Arthur Smith and will perform with him in the show.

“One of the questions we get more often than not is, ‘How do you do this — how do you have a family and do theater?,’” says Kollar Smith, who’s also an actor-choreographer and the mom of two young daughters.

“But you know what? There are so many of us who do it. So let’s get some of those folks together to talk about what it is to love in the business of theater.”

Kollar Smith recruited some fellow married theater types: Actors Bryan and Katie Banville (she’s also a choreographer); Nancy Snow Carr and Geno Carr; and Kyrsten and Kevin Hafso-Koppman (he also directs); plus Moonlight’s own producing artistic director, Steven Glaudini (who will serve as emcee), and his wife and longtime Moonlight performer Bets Malone; along with the recently engaged actors Katie Sapper and Charlie Gange.

“My request to them was, pick songs that lend themselves to sharing a little insight to what your story is in theater,” Kollar Smith says. (The tune she and her husband are performing together, “It Only Takes a Moment” from “Hello, Dolly,” is a nod to the Lamb’s Players Theatre production of that show the pair acted in while they were expecting their first child.)

There was a logistical challenge or two: Geno Carr is appearing on Broadway in the La Jolla Playhouse-launched musical “Come From Away” right now, so he’ll perform with the assistance of video technology; same for Malone, who’s out of town with “Honky Tonk Laundry.”

Some of the performers also will play instruments, complemented by music director Elan McMahan, who’ll play piano on the stage of the heated, indoor ClubM cabaret venue. (The venue offers table seating; food and drinks will be available for purchase.)

So, there will be romance — but what about romantic drama?

Sorry, not on the program.

Kollar Smith says with a laugh that she has one job above all others: “Keep everybody in harmony.”

Love list

Here’s a sample of some of the songs scheduled to be performed in “Kiss&Tell”:

“Shallow,” the Oscar-nominated number from the 2018 movie version of “A Star is Born”: Katie Sapper and Charlie Gange.

“I’ve Got a Crush on You,” from the musical “Nice Work If You Can Get It”: Katie Sapper.

“It Only Takes a Moment,” from the musical “Hello, Dolly!”: Colleen Kollar Smith and Lance Arthur Smith.

“So In Love,” from the musical “Kiss Me, Kate”: Lance Arthur Smith.

“The Place Where Lost Things Go,” the Oscar-nominated song from the 2018 movie “Mary Poppins Returns”: Colleen Kollar Smith.

“Somewhere Out There,” from the movie “An American Tail”: Geno Carr and Nancy Snow Carr.

“Everything Changes,” from the musical “Waitress”: Kyrsten Hafso-Koppman.

“No Words”: Katie and Bryan Banville

‘Kiss&Tell: A Valentine’s Cabaret’

When: 7:30 p.m. Feb. 1 (doors open at 6:30 p.m.)

Where: Moonlight Stage Productions’ ClubM, 1250 Vale Terrace Drive (at Brengle Terrace Park), Vista.

Tickets: $30

Phone: (760) 724-2110


Twitter: @jimhebert