By Andrew Tyrrell, Managing Editor
On Friday, October 21 and Saturday October 22, the UMass Dartmouth Theatre Company, known as TCo, kicked off their season of shows with their 9th annual Broadway Revue.
For those not in the know, a revue (pronounced the same way as review) is a performance, usually light in nature, that consists of a series of short sketches, songs, and/or dances, and will sometimes deal with topical issues.
After an opening performance from the MacGyver Experience, UMass Dartmouth’s improv group, TCo started the night with a performance of “Welcome to Wonderland” from Wonderland: A New Alice, performed by Maria Urbina and a group ensemble.
The show then ran through a selection of songs from well-known and obscure Broadway musicals, with ensemble performances, solos, duets, and even a trio.
Some of the big highlights of the night were in the performances of “I Know It’s Today” from Shrek: The Musical, featuring a set of beautiful performances by Lisa Perrault, Lisa Bontemps, and Tiffany Pinarreta.
Receiving some of the night’s most enthusiastic responses were Rebecca Pereira and Rosalie Kimba’s performances in “This World Will Remember Us” from Bonnie and Clyde and Natalia Alvarez’s powerful solo performance in “Diva’s Lament” from Spamalot, the Broadway adaptation of cult classic Monty Python and the Holy Grail.
Arguably the two most important performances of the night came in the form of two solo pieces.
The first, “Waving Through a Window,” performed by Michael Spearman, was done in dedication to victims of suicide.
The second appeared towards the end of the night when former TCo president Nathan Tarantino, dressed in drag, blew the roof off the auditorium with his powerful performance of “I Am Who I Am.”
The song, from the Broadway adaption of the Franco-Italian film La Cage aux Folles, was dedicated to the LBTQ+ community and the victims of the Pulse Nightclub shooting.
All in all, TCo delivered a series of outstanding performances from new Broadway adaptions and new powerhouses like The Book of Mormon and Tony-record setter Hamilton.
This, however, is just my opinion.
Evan Turick, a junior Computer Science major, who performed as Fester in “One Normal Night” from the Addams Family Musical, thought the show was “fantastic, [and that] it was a blast.”
After a night full of wonderful Broadway music and equally wonderful performances, one may wonder how a show with such a large cast and such a wide range of musical numbers gets put together.
It was with great fortune that The Torch was able to get backstage. It was with even greater fortune that The Torch was able to spend a few minutes picking the brain of Cheyanne Patterson, who co-directed the show along with Meghan Lynch.
Patterson, a junior MLS major, told The Torch, in response to how she got involved with the show, that “I started doing Broadway Revue my freshman year with TCo, and I [was] in it as one of the actors my freshman and sophomore year.”
She continued, saying that “last year Meghan and I were thinking about it, and we thought about directing it together, and neither one of us wanted to do it alone so that’s why we decided to direct it together. We do a vote, we vote for directors, and we won. We really wanted to do a specific show this year which is why we ran for it.”
As this writer previously mentioned, two songs were dedicated to very important causes, which was one of the themes that Patterson and Lynch were going for with this year’s revue. The other theme the co-directors focused on was the idea of progression.
“Each song had a general theme of some type of story, and how they may have not started off in the best spot but they progressed forward and went to a more positive ending,” Patterson said.
For a show with such a complex range of songs, Patterson, Lynch, and their cast had very little time to get ready, with only a month to rehearse.
“Auditions were in the beginning of September, and as soon as auditions were done we started the next week for rehearsals. We met twice a week and we would meet for three or four hours,” Patterson told The Torch.
Such rigorous hours of practice were not wasted, as Patterson couldn’t help but saying after the first night of the run that “[Meghan and I] are very proud.”
Seeing any theatrical performance comes with the danger of being bitten by the theatre bug. Anyone who may want to get involved with the Theatre Company should attend a general interest meeting.
Information for these meetings can be found on the TCo Facebook page (UMass Dartmouth Theatre Company), or written outside their office, located at Auditorium 001.
For any questions, TCo can be reached through their Facebook page or via email, at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The UMass Dartmouth Theatre Company will be returning from November 10-13 with their musical performance of Into the Woods, and all are encouraged to come out for a night of fun.