For her part, Burrell says she knows the feeling. “It’s almost like the world is taking a nap right now, and it’s easy for people to become complacent in an environment like that,” she notes. “Just as audiences are starving for entertainment, though, artists are looking for ways to keep their creative juices flowing, too, even if it means looking into new and different forms or formats.”
So, when Alliance artistic director Susan Booth approached them about co-hosting “We’re Still Here,” both Burrell and Collins seized the opportunity. The two performers had worked together before, sharing the Alliance stage for a 2017 children’s theater production called “Cinderella and Fella.” And Burrell also appeared as a guest-star in one of two holiday cabarets that Collins headlined in the company’s Hertz studio space (in 2016 and 2019).
Each episode promises to capture and reflect the style and spirit of the woman hosting it. “Both of us will be doing our own thing,” Burrell explains. “Courtenay’s the hostess with the most-est — so warm and welcoming, and such a funny, lively conversationalist — whereas my episodes will probably be a little more presentational, with more of a silly party atmosphere to them.”
Collins agrees — up to a point, at least: “Terry tells the most delightful and hilarious stories, and she always tells it like it is. She definitely doesn’t mince words.” At the same time, whatever their differences, “One thing we have in common is that we both love what we do, and everything we’re bringing to the shows really comes from our hearts,” Collins says.
Or, as Burrell puts it, “It’s mainly about having a good time, but hopefully it’s also a way to reassure folks that, however highly stressful these times may be, everything’s going to be OK, and this too shall pass.”
“We’re Still Here: A Virtual Cabaret”
July 9-Aug. 13. Thursdays at 7 p.m. on the Alliance Theatre Facebook page and YouTube channel. Free. To register, visit alliancetheatre.org/virtual-cabaret.