BWW Review: AND THE WORLD GOES 'ROUND Slays at Stage West
For those who don't know, "And The World Goes 'Round" is a musical revue of Kander and Ebb's illustrious musical career, taking the audience on a journey of some widely-beloved - as well as some lesser known - showtunes that helped shape the history of musical theatre.
Taken from the Liza Minelli song in the 1977 movie musical "New York, New York", this two hour revue covers songs from twelve musical productions, woven together - with no plot - to feature a cast of five artists playing all the characters. From roller skating in "The Rink", to luring the audience in "Kiss of the Spiderwoman", and dancing around to "Liza With a 'Z'", this show is a non-stop ride for the performers and an evening full of entertainment for the audience.
Stage West Theatre Restaurant features a cast of five talented actors from across Canada to fill the roles of the aptly named Woman 1, 2, 3 and Man 1, and 2. Though the cast share the stage numerous times - as well as take the opportunity to show off their incredible dance and singing abilities - there were a few highlights for me thanks to direction and choreography by Tim French.
Arthur in the Afternoon (from The Act) involves Woman 2, Sash Striga discussing her tryst with the previously mentioned Arthur (played by and Man 2, Tyler McKinnon) and how she keeps from feeling too stressed. It is a fun, fast paced number that really showcased Sash's skill as a singer and dancer. This woman has legs for days and her scene partner Tyler was so expressive though he barely said a word.
A few numbers later, Sash donned the signature fishnets and black to sing All That Jazz from Chicago with her posse of dancing boys. While, again, I loved watching the gorgeous Stage West alum strut her stuff, I wish the key had been raised just a little bit.
Following the series of performances from Chicago, Man 1, Calgary native Troy Goldthorp, stepped out on stage to sing Mr. Cellophane. With an empty stage and some clever lighting design, we were treated to an endearing performance. Troy has such amazing focus on stage - he carries himself like he's always performing and invested in the moment. Great stage presence.
The Act One finale involves all five actors on stage singing the title song from the 1984 musical "The Rink". And they're all on roller skates. Now, the performance space at Stage West is not necessarily built for skating circles around fellow actors but they all skated the stage with ease - some slightly less so for comedic effect but skilled nonetheless. Not only was it an impressive feat but also a very energized number, perfect for sending their guests off to intermission with smiles.
We came back from intermission to watch Sarah Higgins (the astounding Woman 3) belt her face off with Ring Them Bells from Liza With a 'Z' with the rest of the cast supporting her by playing every other character in the story. Sarah has so much energy, I could not stop watching her.
But then Tyler McKinnon stepped out on stage to sing the titular song from Kiss of the Spider Woman. I think I could listen to Tyler belt for hours and still not be bored. I already adored that song - and the musical, I want to see it performed more often - but I think I fell in love all over again.
Do yourself a favour and go see this show. It's fun, filled with a talented cast, and contains some amazing music.
Of course, these singers can also move. Sash and Troy came out to perform a sweeping duet to A Quiet Thing from Flora, the Red Menace - or more accurately, an instrumental selection following A Quiet Place titled When It All Comes True - and it really was beautiful to watch. I am a sucker for a dance break and these two nailed. Smooth transitions, strong extensions; what more could a girl ask for? My compliments to Tom French on his ability to feature his actors' many talents.
The fabulous Woman 1, played by Sarah Horsman, was just a joy to watch. She sang a lot of the ballads in the show and brought a new and powerful emotion to each one. In particular, her performance of Maybe This Time from Cabaret filled the stage with minimal movement involved.
Though it is strictly a musical revue, there is an arc and a story to And The World Goes 'Round. It's five artists telling love stories for two hours and it calls for skill, stamina, and incredible stage presence. These actors have it in spades. I left the theatre, curious about the shows I'd seen, in love with the performers, and generally satisfied that I'd had a good evening out.
I may be gushing a little by I liked And The World Goes 'Round and I hope, if you have an opportunity, you go see the show.