December 7, 2009

Late Night Broadway

Late Night Broadway at Western Michigan University's Williams Theatre showcased the talents of the graduating class of their musical theatre program. Eleven students performed and they were uber talented! It was on a thrust stage with the audience in stadium style seats and some on tables around the stage, a very intimate setting. The students had great voices and energy, it was very enjoyable. The list of their songs are as follows:

Those who were memorable to me were Samuel Ramirez (great physicality and comedic timing), Tiffany Dissette (great voice), Emily Iaquinta (I loved her version of See I'm Smiling) and Jared Woodhouse (what a great baritone voice). I also loved the number Friends performed by Emily Iaquinta and William Casey. It was very amusing and just pure delight. The audience was comprised of family and friends which fostered raucous cheers after every number.

The second act of the showcase featured Julia Murney who performed songs she's done in her solo shows. My favs were her interpretation of Colored Lights (fr The Rink), Much At All, So Anyway and of course Maria (fr West Side Story). It was also great to see her perform Raise The Roof live and with some staging and choreography by the senior students as the ensemble. What a very rousing number! I don't know if it was because Julia was under the weather or it was a long day for her (which she admitted during the show) but I just noticed that she sang her songs softer than I've heard her in her previous concerts. Don't get me wrong, she still poured emotions into her songs but her voice was just softer. However, by doing this, there was this pronounced effect on the audience. I'm not sure who I've heard it from before but it's said that when you perform you either bring your show to the audience or let the audience come to you. Well, I'm sure it might not be intentional but by doing so, she did let the audience come to her. The audience was in complete silence during her songs specially on the softer parts. And specially during Maria. They were SO intent on listening to every note, savouring every lyric. It was very palpable and so surprising. I think the last time I've experienced that was in Grey Gardens with Christine Ebersole and it was just nice to experience that again.

Here are some photos I took the next day before I left Kalamazoo:

University Theatre poster outside the Gilmore Theatre Complex

The Gilmore Theatre Complex

The Miller Auditorium

The Richmond Center for Visual Arts


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