PA’s Own

Have you ever performed on Broadway? No? The Andover Theater Department will bring you as close as you can get, with the Broadway Revue. The Broadway Revue is back, and will be bigger than ever. The Broadway Revue is a production that combines a variety of songs and dances from both popular and obscure musical theater. Directed this year by Lisa Donchak ’06 and Steve Farquhar ’07, the two worked relentlessly to obtain permission from the faculty to produce the show in Tang Theater this year, the largest venue the show has yet to undertake in the past three years. The show will be similar to a cabaret, avoiding resembling the shows the songs are taken from. Instead, the performances will be the actors’ and directors’ interpretations of each song, rather than imitations of the actual Broadway show’s choreography and staging. The theme of the Broadway Revue will be less restrictive this year than last year’s Skyline, whose theme revolved around New York City. “All of the songs [in this year’s show] will encompass the last 50 years,” said Donchak. By making the theme less restrictive, the cast and directors will have more of an opportunity to pick the songs that they believe will enhance the quality of the show. The theme, however, will ensure a common thread throughout the entire production. The Broadway Revue will be similar to last years Skyline, but it will diverge from this previous model in several ways. Besides the absence of a concrete theme, the Broadway Revue will try to concentrate less on the dancing aspects and more on the musical numbers. Though there will be dance breaks interspersed throughout the show, the musical numbers will be the main focus. The directors are looking for actors who can both sing and dance, and they will not accept an actor solely based on their dancing abilities. Another difference from Skyline is that this show will be preformed in Tang Theater and will have a more multipurpose set because the performance is not a based on a single account, but rather a series of intertwined stories. The show will include approximately 16 songs and a cast of around 30. Each actor may perform in up to two or three songs to make for a tightly-knit cast. There will be varied size productions, including some solos and duets throughout the show. Auditions will be held in early January, so if you are interested, the directors recommend that you begin preparing over winter break. Rehearsals will be held throughout winter term and the show will most likely go up in early April. Though nothing is concrete yet, the directors are anticipating an hour of rehearsal each week per song. Dance captains will be picked for each number and will try to organize practice time outside of rehearsals with the directors. “The show is still in the preliminary stages,” stated Farquhar, “but we will likely choose songs from Webber, Bernstein, and various others composers.” The two directors have decided to pick mostly well-known songs, but want to avoid clichés. “We want the audience to enjoy the show, but at the same time we want to cater to an audience interested and knowledgeable in musical theater,” replied Donchak when asked about song ideas. Accompanying the singers, there will a small band playing for each number. The instruments will be mainly the piano, bass and drums, but they are also looking to add others such as the keyboard, saxophone, or the violin. Diverse instruments will enhance the show and place more emphasis on the music. Though both Farquhar and Donchak will be directing, Farquhar will focus more on the music and the conducting while Donchak will spend more energy on the technical and organizational aspects of the show. Jennifer Philp, the lighting teaching fellow, has agreed to be the faculty advisor to the Broadway Revue and will work with Farquhar and Donchak to produce the show. If you are interested in acting, choreographing or helping with technical crew, contact Farquhar or Donchak.