Cabaret restaurant named after the Husker show choir at Haymarket | Culture


Kevin Witcher graduated from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln in 1994 with a degree in musical theater, and during his time at UNL he was a member of the Scarlet and Cream Singers, the former college choir.

From 1972 to 2008, singers Scarlet and Cream, better known by their nickname “screamers”, were known to perform at events throughout the academic year and in competitions across the country. Witcher said being a part of the Scarlet and Cream Singers is not just a performing choir, but a mentoring program where he can learn and grow as a performer.

After graduating, Witcher traveled across the country to perform in theater groups and taught choreography in Maryland. In addition to her years of traveling and performing, Witcher now works as a nurse practitioner while juggling her new business.

As a tribute to his former performing choir, Witcher plans to open Screamers, Lincoln’s first cabaret-style themed restaurant named after the group.

Located at 803 Q St. in the Haymarket, Screamers Dining and Cabaret will host singing waiters providing live entertainment to patrons. Kevin Witcher, owner and general manager of Screamers, said the idea to open his own themed cabaret restaurant came from his visit to a similar restaurant in Washington DC that used the same concept.

“I thought that idea would be great in Nebraska because we have so much talent,” said Witcher.

To help make it an entertaining restaurant and mentoring program, Witcher auditioned students from the Glenn Korff School of Music at UNL and other music students from Wesleyan University of Nebraska.

“I would like this place to serve as a mentoring program where performers can learn to hone their craft and take it from here and go to New York and feel just as ready as those who grew up in New York,” Witcher mentioned. . “I’ve done a lot of things, I’ve seen a lot and learned a lot, and I think I have a lot to learn about musical theater.

His team, which Witcher says will be between 14 and 20 members, will be dressed in costumes that correlate with the daily theme during lunch hours. For example, Witcher said Monday would have a 1950s theme while Wednesday would have a 1970s theme.

“The fun part about cabaret decor is there’s no set script,” Witcher said. “The servers already have the repertoire prepared but they can go upstairs at any time and sing a song or all the staff can start singing together. “

During dinner hours, employees will be dressed in standard uniforms but will continue to entertain guests. A stage will be in front of the restaurant where a pianist will sing and also host live music.

No matter how much hard work it took for Witcher to make sure Screamers is a successful business, he said he hopes it connects with the Lincoln community and delivers an experience diners won’t find. nowhere else.

“I think Lincoln needs a restaurant that gives you a reason to want to go,” Witcher said. “I want to create a place where people were happy to come and come back. “

According to Witcher, the Screamers will be serving American cuisine. The restaurant will serve lunch and dinner Monday through Friday and brunch and dinner will be served on weekends.

The Screamers’ chef, Matthew Brems, has worked in the restaurant business for 15 years. Previously a chef in Chicago, Brems said he had become intrigued by the restaurant’s dynamic theme.

“The restaurant is one of a kind because it caters to all demographic groups,” said Brems. “My background being based on the Chicago food scene, I offer many items that are accessible with a high twist. “

The menu has been designed to include a mix of foods that will appeal to all the senses, according to Brems. The menu will include grilled king crab legs, rootbeer braised ribs and even a signature dish: the Screamers’ red velvet cake.

From employees wearing poodle skirts to ’80s ballad songs, Witcher said Screamers will provide an experience that will stand out from other local restaurants.

“When the customers are at the restaurant, I want to [them] feel like they’re on stage and part of the atmosphere, not just as spectators, ”Witcher said. “I want people to feel like they’re part of a community here.

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