Review: Best of Broadway Musicals

Marco Georgaklis, Staff Writer

An inspiring orchestral harmony of piano, guitar, bass, percussion, violin, and woodwinds set the vibrant tone for the high school’s Best of Broadway Musicals on Thursday, Feb. 4., at the Roberts/Dubbs Auditorium. A series of 29 songs from a variety of musicals, this well executed performance impressed and satisfied the large audience.

The stage was set with music notes and microphones as scenery. The orchestra was visible on the back right section of the stage. Six microphones were evenly distributed along the stage, and characters made their entrances on the right.  A projector displayed the playbill of the musical each song was taken from on the back wall. All songs had separate story lines and lasted only a couple minutes until a new one came along.

Pleasant and upbeat music introduced the production’s first song, “Broadway Baby” from Follies, written by Stephen Sondheim. Sophomore Megha Shrivastava entered wearing a glamorous gold dress, centralizing the audience’s attention on her solo.  She was then joined by juniors Maya Mokady and Ndanu Mutisya in sparkling silver and black dresses. Sophomore Sammy Davies accompanied the song with precise piano playing, enhancing the buoyant mood of the song.

Performers were featured in multiple songs, undergoing quick costume changes and transforming characters. In between songs, the stage often blacked out and the orchestra played transitioning music as the lights came back on and the performers for the next song made their entrances. The pace was kept constant with minimal silences, only to give the audience the opportunity to applaud each song.  After around 60 minutes, a ten minute intermission took place to give the actors and audience a short break.

Different colors of lighting illuminated the stage for each song, giving further insight to the mood and tempo of the song. Vibrant red lighting was used during the performance of “You’re The Top”, a fast-paced love song from “Anything Goes” by Cole Porter, featuring multiple couples singing together. However, the lighting converted to a subtle orange as “Summertime”, a slower paced song from George Gershwin’s Porgy and Bess was performed.

Costumes further helped the comprehension of each piece.  In the performance of “Too Darn Hot” from Kiss Me Kate by Cole Porter, featuring seniors, KeiAntey Gamble and Watson Njoku, juniors Diana Pierre, Ndanu Mutisya and Maya Mokady, and sophomores Becky Mason and Ashley Choi entered with sparkling red dresses, signifying the intensity of the song. “Summertime” contrasted the previous song’s intensity and featured junior Jasmine Santos in an elegant white dress for a more peaceful mood.

Overall, the detailed performances successfully pleased the audience and overcame the non-existent plot, keeping all engaged throughout the menage of songs via the use of lighting, costume, and impressive singing.