At 19, Fiona Scott Will Take The Solo Cabaret Stage At Blue Strawberry
Fresh off her first year as an undergrad at Oklahoma City University, 19-year-old St. Louisan Fiona Scott didn’t quite know what to expect when she attended an open mic night earlier this summer at the Central West End’s Blue Strawberry.
“I haven’t really performed all that much since COVID, but it was cool,” Scott, who is studying musical theater and vocal performance, recalled of the June evening. “I sang a couple of my songs, and the owner, Jim Dolan, came up to me.”
Dolan didn’t just deliver a word of praise; he suggested a repeat performance on July 29. Now, that night, the venue will host Scott’s solo cabaret debut. She plans to present a repertoire of musical theater songs that have meant something to her personally — and that she hopes her audience will find relatable as well.
“I was so honored [by the invitation]. I haven’t done too many things on my own without my parents’ help,” Scott said, adding that she’s been working closely with music director and accompanist Ron McGowan in preparing for the show.
“He helped me with so much of this. I had absolutely no idea how to put on a cabaret, but he has taught cabaret classes before at Webster Conservatory,” she told host Sarah Fenske on Thursday’s St. Louis on the Air. “So [he] had me journal and figure out what patter to talk about in the show. And so you add songs into the show based on the patter and what you’re talking about.”
While acknowledging that many cabaret performers have more years of life experience to draw on for material, Scott said she’s finding she still has plenty of experiences from which to mine.
“A lot of my cabaret is about self discovery, sexuality, finding myself, being comfortable with myself, and friends and how other people view me — and also relationships and going into college with the pandemic and everything like that,” she explained.
Scott also touched on her work as a member of the Teen Ensemble in the Muny’s upcoming production of “The Sound of Music” — and how she got into singing and performing in the first place.
“My grandma got me started in musical theater,” Scott said. “She had me audition for ‘Meet Me in St. Louis’ because it was at her old high school, Notre Dame High School. And ever since then I’ve just loved the arts and loved making friends around music and sharing music together.”
“St. Louis on the Air” brings you the stories of St. Louis and the people who live, work and create in our region. The show is hosted by Sarah Fenske and produced by Alex Heuer, Emily Woodbury, Evie Hemphill and Lara Hamdan. Paola Rodriguez is our production assistant. The audio engineer is Aaron Doerr.