Madness Takes Its Toll: Broadway Revue 2004

“It’s astounding; time is fleeting; madness takes its toll!” As I sat in on a Broadway Revue rehearsal this past Monday, those were the first words I heard as the cast began performing “Time Warp” from the “Rocky Horror Picture Show.” Perching on my seat with pen in hand, I watched as the cast crept in from all directions, clad in vivid costumes ranging from purple feathered boas to silver dresses. They had just begun to learn the steps to the song that day, and, with the directors crying out stage-directions and the music beating in the background, the cast did a remarkable job of maintaining their calm and running through “Time Warp” for the first time. Based on the rehearsal, I would predict this year’s production to be amazing. It goes by fast, luring its spectators into each act. In essence, this year’s Revue is bound to be a blast for everyone: cast, crew, and audience. The Broadway Revue is an annual theater production that incorporates select Broadway pieces, acted out by students. This year’s Revue incorporates fifteen different acts, six of which are student solos. “The Revue is simply a compilation of what we think are some of the best songs of Broadway,” said Michelle Easton ‘04, co-director of this year’s Revue. “There is no plot line; the songs just appear in succession.” She added, “the songs we chose were mostly hits from our absolute favorite shows, but we tried to throw in a couple of show-stoppers from the lesser-known musicals, as well.” She continued, “The goal was to put together a show that would expose our school community to a great variety of music, from the old favorites like ‘America’ and ‘Greased Lightning’ to the newer hits from shows such as ‘RENT’ and ‘Hairspray’.” In comparison to other musical productions I have seen, this year’s Broadway Revue is definitely one of the best. As I watched the rehearsal, I could not help but notice the acuity with which the actors and actresses made their entrances and exits, the energy with which they sang and danced and, most of all, the joy with which they portrayed their roles. “It is a lot of fun. We have all worked really hard for this, some of us even practicing as early as winter break,” said Chris Li ’06, “but it all pays off in the end.” Stage manager Lisa Donchak agrees, “Everyone’s been working really hard for the last month, and they’ve all put in a lot of time and effort. I think we’re all excited to see it finally coming together.” However, acting and dancing are not the only aspects of the Revue that will make it a success. Technology and music play important roles in the show as well. According to Easton, “this year, we have an awesome production team…and tech like you’ve never seen before.” Easton’s comment is true. In the precision and coordination of the lighting, it is evident that the technical crew is amazing. Though most Broadway performances have their own pit orchestra to accompany their acts, with violinist Homan Lee ’04, bass guitarist Ben Lasman ’06, and drummer Jami Makan ’04, the music for the Revue is outstanding and amazingly accurate in its replication of the original sound. “The instrumentalists rock; they never get enough credit but they are good,” confirmed Erika Chow ’06, pianist for the Revue. The directors of this year’s Broadway Revue expect it to be an amazing experience. “Everyone has to see it; this cast has attitude, volume, and pizzazz,” said Easton. As I walked out of Steinbach Theater, I watched as dancers and singers mingled together, some scantily clad in questionable outfits, others, of both genders, sporting full-length dresses . The atmosphere in the rehearsal was one of relaxed happiness; completely concealing the hard, intense, five prolonged weeks of rehearsal that all cast members have endured Director Easton explains the reason she began the review, “Until very recently, our school was severely lacking in the musical theatre department. No other show has brought together such a large, dynamic cast as that of the Revue.” The cast of the Broadway Revue does truly shine. Some of the acts are truly astounding. So remember, the Broadway Revue goes up this Friday and Saturday (2/20 and 2/21) at 7pm in Steinbach Theater, with an open dress rehearsal this Thursday. Make sure you get tickets. As “The Time Warp” cautions, “Time is fleeting!”