Flashback to Y2K for One Night Only at the Clocktower Cabaret | Westword
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Flashback to Y2K for One Night Only at the Clocktower Cabaret

"Our cabaret is all about showing Gen Z what that time was really like."
Flashback to Y2K  comes to the Clocktower Cabaret on July 9. (L-R: Katarina Lott, Bridget Bose, Andrea Palesh, Melissa Buriak, Queen Irene, Melissa
Cammarata, Jesse Wintermute)
Flashback to Y2K comes to the Clocktower Cabaret on July 9. (L-R: Katarina Lott, Bridget Bose, Andrea Palesh, Melissa Buriak, Queen Irene, Melissa Cammarata, Jesse Wintermute) Courtesy of Noel Valero
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In case you didn't get the message on your Nokia mobile phone, the ’90s and Y2K are back.

"When you walk into H&M, everything looks like something from the set of 10 Things I Hate About You," says Melissa Buriak, a director, producer and booking manager for the ’90s and 2000s variety show Flashback to Y2K. "Our cabaret is all about showing Gen Z what that time was really like."

For one night only at the Clocktower Cabaret, on Sunday, July 9, singers and dancers from NYC theater production company GPC Entertainment will perform a variety show that showcases high-energy ensemble dance production numbers, singing, tap dancing, circus arts and burlesque, set to iconic pop songs from the ’90s and 2000s. 

"The show itself is what we refer to as a mixtape," says GPC's executive director, Bridget Bose. "Anyone who was alive during that time knows about creating a mixtape, so this show reflects that. We've performed this show since 2017, and audiences love it. Flashback to Y2K is a fan favorite and a top seller, so we thought it would be a lot of fun for our homecoming performance in Colorado."

Although the troupe is based in New York, several of the company members are originally from Colorado.

"Bridget and I are best friends from high school," says GPC's artistic director, Andrea Palesh. "We grew up in Colorado dancing together at Miller's Dance Studio, and this show is a huge throwback to the songs and the music that we grew up listening to. Bridget and I met Katarina [Lott, GPC's rehearsal director] on a Bollywood tour, and we bonded because she was wearing a Boulder shirt. We approached her and said, 'Let’s be friends!' And, shortly after that, the three of us started GPC Entertainment."

The founders started the company "to foster an inclusive environment of creativity, personal expression and community through live performances, events and educational programming that increases accessibility to the performing arts for both audiences and artists," says Bose. When GPC first started performing, in 2014, it was a relatively intimate group.

"GPC has grown from five performers to a roster of over fifty artists spread out across the United States," Buriak says. "We now have six full-length themed variety shows and have created hundreds of songs and dances that we refurbish for various performances. During COVID, we shifted all of our in-person shows to virtual platforms and did some outdoor performances. We're still experimenting with this hybrid model, where we will put on live performances in New York that can be livestreamed literally anywhere. GPC has been in a constant state of evolution; we're constantly growing and looking for creative new ways to bring our mission to different markets."

GPC has performers all over the world, and touring productions give the troupe more chances to meet new people. Bose claims that the upcoming Flashback to Y2K performance at the Clocktower Cabaret will be a reunion in more ways than one.

"Many of us haven’t performed together since the pandemic," Bose says. "During COVID, we all had major life shifts because the entertainment industry was shut down. Many of us changed careers or moved out of New York City and are scattered all over the world, so this is a really great opportunity for us to come together and get to perform again. This show also has a hometown-reunion feel to it, because a lot of our friends and families in Colorado who we haven’t seen since the ’90s will be coming to the show."

Flashback to Y2K is directed and produced by Palesh, Bose and Buriak, with music direction by Annie Ester and Vinnie Ester and performances by Palesh, Bose, Lott, Buriak, Camille Brauch, Melissa Grace Becker, Melissa Cammarata, Queen Irene and Shannon McGee.

"The show has really witty burlesque, crazy tap dancing and a light show with dancers that you have to see in person to believe," Palesh says. "What we're really known for is group ensemble dance numbers in a variety of different dance styles, so get ready to see hip-hop, contemporary, jazz and musical theater — you name it, we like to showcase it." Classics from the ’90s and 2000s will be performed live by Melissa Grace Becker while the dancers bust a move.

"This is not a 'sit down and shut up' kind of show," Palesh says. "We want people to have fun and go crazy with us. I hate to date ourselves, but Bridget and I are having our twentieth high school reunion this summer, and so I feel like there's something extra-nostalgic for us about revisiting the music and pop-culture icons that inspired us to become professional performers. And as someone who has been involved with Flashback to Y2K since it debuted in 2017, it has been really cool to see it develop further and be able to share our influences with the next generation of dancers and audiences."

Flashback to Y2K, Sunday, July 9, Clocktower Cabaret, 1601 Arapahoe Street. Find tickets, times and more information at GPC-Entertainment.com.
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