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Posted on Mon, Dec 10, 2012 : 6:45 a.m.

Performance Network rings in the holiday season with 'Silver Bells: A Christmas Cabaret'

By Staff

Performance Network, Ann Arbor’s professional theatre, will present its second annual Christmas concert and, "Silver Bells: a Christmas Cabaret" - an evening of seasonal music presented by some of Ann Arbor’s finest musical theater artists - on Monday, Dec. 17 at 7 p.m. at 120 East Huron in Ann Arbor.

This family-friendly event will feature standards and new favorites from this special season. Hosting the evening will be Ann Arbor’s own Piano Man, R. MacKenzie Lewis, and featured singers include Courtney Riddle, Bradley McNett and Laura Dysarczyk, joined by the orchestra from "A Little Night Music" and members of the Ann Arbor based swing band Accidentally Hip.

Lewis, who is organizing the event for the second year in a row, said in a press release, “So many of us have fond memories of watching musical Christmas specials as kids. Coming together through music is a cherished part of the season. This is our way to bring the community out to celebrate with us, through music, comedy and a little bit of theater magic.”

Tickets are $15 for adults, $7 for students, and kids 8 and under get in free.

Information and reservations can be found online at, or by calling 734-663-0681 during box office hours, 10 a.m.-6 p.m., Monday through Thursday.

About the performers:

Laura Dysarczyk: Originally from Detroit, Laura Dysarczyk is a graduate of NYU’s Tisch School of the Arts. Credits include several Broadway National Tours including "Disney’s Beauty and the Beast," "Thoroughly Modern Millie" and "Wicked." Other credits include "Red, Hot and Blue!" at the Paper Mill Playhouse, Barrington Stage’s "On the Twentieth Century," and two seasons with the Barn Theatre, where she played in "Noises Off," "A Chorus Line," "Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat," and "Blood Brothers." She was nominated for a Barrymore Award in Philadelphia for her performance of Charity in "Sweet Charity."

Courtney Riddle: Last seen at Performance Network as Audrey in "Little Shop of Horrors," Courtney has made a name as Ann Arbor’s premier chanteuse, regularly performing with the musical groups Accidentally Hip, and Luna Soiree, as well as at fundraisers for Performance Network, the Ann Arbor Summer Festival and more. Having been an actor in Michigan for the past 20 years, she has been seen on numerous stages including the Blackbird Theatre, Performance Network, and Eastern Michigan University, where she graduated with a degree in theater.

Brad McNett: Vocalist/composer, Brad McNett, is quickly becoming one of the most popular interpreters of the Great American Songbook. “There’s a late-’50s sensibility in his voice - touches of Mel Torme and Frank D’Rone,” according to Marc Myers of His unique repertoire features obscure and well known songs from such great composers as: Cole Porter, Rodgers & Hart, the Gershwins, Harold Arlen and Frank Loesser, to name a few. At the end of 2009 McNett released his debut EP, "Introducing: Brad McNett," recorded with some of Detroit’s top musicians: The award winning Scott Gwinnell on piano, Jordan Schug on bass, and Jesse Kramer on drums. McNett has also recorded with guitarist, Jake Reichbart with whom he recorded their critically acclaimed duo recording, "Please Come Home For Christmas" in November of 2011.

R. MacKenzie Lewis: Lewis has been the music director at PNT since 2007. Lewis is also a composer and music director for Eastern Michigan University’s department of theatre, a lecturer with their department of music and dance as well as being a guest artist and music director for Michigan State University. Aside from his university responsibilities, R. Mac music directs, composes, orchestrates, and arranges music for various theaters, bands, orchestras, and musicals. Recent works include composing for "Jason Invisible" and "The Wings of Ikarus Jackson," both commissioned by the Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C., orchestrating and music directing the national tour and Off-Broadway premiere of "The Berenstein Bears LIVE: Family Matters"; composing "Video Games: The Rock Opera" and the world premiere musical with Ben Vereen, "Soaring on Black Wings." He keeps himself busy by writing and performing in a wide variety of venues and genres around the country, including the Las Vegas production of "Ain’t Misbehavin’."

Members of the orchestra include: Alec Cooper on sax/clarinet; Jenny Wan on violin; David Shann on viola; Bethany Bagbey on cello; Michael Rais on bass; Bill Harrington on drums.