BWW Review: MUSICAL MONDAY Brings Down the House at the Off Center Theatre
If you missed Musical Monday presented by Musical Theater Heritage on July 28, then you missed one of the best revues of the season. The production was set around the Broadway hit Mame, but that did not mean all the songs were from the Tony Award winning musical.
Missing from the stage was Tim Scott the regular host of the revue, but standing in for him was Missy Koonce. Koonce, who most often appears behind the curtains directing shows for theatres across Kansas City, was hilarious as she bantered with the audience and cast members throughout the program. Backed up by an array of some of the best vocal talent in the area, she set the bar high as she opened the show singing, "It's Today," from Mame.
The opening number made you hunger for more, and the song "Sara Lee," sung by Andrew Schmidt, made you hungry for the concession stand. After intermission, Schmidt again sings a song of sustenance with "Deli." His performance was very good, though it may have caused my stomach to growl.
Jessalyn Kincaid, one of the city's best-known actors delighted the audience with "Down With Love" and "Rumble, Rumble" in the first act. After the break, she joined with Koonce to sing, "Bosom Buddies" before her final solo of "Ain't Nothing But A Kiss."
Musical Theatre Heritage presents Rodgers and Hammerstein's South Pacific from August 7 through August 24. Monday's audience was treated with a taste of what to expect with an appearance by Christopher Sanders. The baritone rocked the Off Center Theatre as he sang, "The Boatman's Song." It took only a couple of notes to understand why Musical Theatre Heritage brought him to Kansas City.
Members of the cast from Chitty Chitty Bang Bang, currently playing at The Coterie Theatre in Crown Center, entertained the audience with two numbers. Jake Walker, who plays Caractacus Potts, Stefanie Wienecke, as Truly Scrumptious, Allison Banks playing Jemima Potts, and Lucas Dorrell as Jeremy Potts, continued the lighthearted mood of Musical Monday marvelously performing the title song.
Emily Shackleford, one of the top performers in Kansas City, marvelously performed "Molly's Song," and "Gooch's Song" in the first act. After the intermission she sang, "They Just Keep Moving the Line." Chris Holbrook was wonderful as he performed, "There's a Sucker Born Every Minute" and "Everybody Wants to be Sondheim." Spencer Brown sang "The Moon Song" from Mame, "I Don't Care Much," and "Dressing Them Up." His lighthearted performance keep the audience wanting more.
Molly Hammer rounded out the cast singing one of the greatest renditions of "I Feel the Earth Move" that I have been fortunate enough to hear. Just when you thought it could not get any better she was back on stage with, "River Deep Mountain High."
You will not want to miss the next Musical Monday, on Monday and Tuesday September 8 and 9, when the cast presents songs from Wicked. Purchase tickets by calling 816-545-6000 or visit the Musical Theater Heritage website.
Photograph courtesy of Musical Theater Heritage.