Archikulture Digest

Broadway’s Favorites, A Musical Revue

Broadway’s Favorites, A Musical Revue

Musical Direction by Spenser Crosswell

Choreography by Jonathan Guise

Theatre Downtown, Orlando FL</strong>

As the frosty chill of Orlando’s winter fades, last season’s ghosts and enforced jollity flee as we begin the 2010 theatre season. Theater Downtown’s debut is an unusual and eclectic review of Broadway tunes, arranged in a rough chronological order. The two dozen cast members tackle nearly as many songs ranging from a hearty and heartfelt “Summertime” (Ian Clark) to the ambitious children’s ensemble of “It’s A Hard Knock Life.” A few song stand out, and Mr. Clark was involved in many of them. He joined Doug Shorts and Charlie Stevens to get the audience clapping “Oh What A Night” from Jersey Boys, and later teamed up with Mr. Stevens again for “What You Own” from Rent. A quiet but effective number came from Lucy Yarbrough with “Losing My Mind” and Marion Mason gave a dark and moving rendition of “Send in The Clowns.” The mega-show Les Miserables provide two more numbers, the radical “Empty Chairs, Empty Tables” and the rousing show closer “One Day More”

Jonathan Guise provided choreography, and while many numbers were “stand on stage and emote”, the cast infiltrated the audience for “Let the Sun Shine In,” providing a nice wrap to the first act. “All That Jazz” opened the second act, sending singers up and down the stair-filled set left over from the recent Christmas Carol. Lead singer Amber Winfrey’s voice got lost in the dancing as the chorus overpowered her from time to time. Music came from Spenser Croswell sitting in a dark side room, he’s a solid piano player but some of these songs demanded more music than a simple cabaret sound could give them. Still, the audience responded well, giving a partial ovation in the nearly sold out house. It’s hard to miss with a show like this, and it’s a fine start to this brave New Year.

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