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BWW Review: HEAD OVER HEELS at Nebraska Wesleyan University

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Nebraska Wesleyan's 21/22 Season Opens With A Strong Beat

BWW Review: HEAD OVER HEELS at Nebraska Wesleyan University

The 80's are back! For the past two weekends, audiences at Nebraska Wesleyan University's O'Donnell Auditorium were dancing to the beat of the Go-Go's as their theatre department mounted an electric production of Head Over Heels. Based on "The Arcadia" by Sir Philip Sidney and featuring a score made of up some of the biggest Go-Go's hits, Head Over Heels is a show about love, acceptance, and being true to who you are. Satirical, energetic, and even a bit shocking at times, the show Friday evening proved to have a little something for everyone.

The cast of Nebraska Wesleyan's production laid it all out on the stage Friday night from the moment the first beat dropped. Alex Rownd had the audience roaring with laughter multiple times throughout the evening with his comedic timing and brilliant line delivery. Rownd and Elke Myers earned the audiences adoration with their sweet story of a (nearly) lost love and lovely performance of the Go-Go's hit "Mad About You." John Alden and Corben Jacobe were a memorable dynamic duo with strong acting choices, and Piper Monson perfectly rounded out that trio of adults with her regal performance and impressive vocals. Monson and Alden shared a few wonderful vocal moments, including a crowd pleasing performance of "Heaven Is A Place On Earth." Theresa Chambers showcased strong acting chops and vocals, with her performance of "Beautiful" being a memorable moment with the vocals and cute choreography. Colin Swanson almost stole the show with his electric musical number, "Vision of Nowness," which was a clear crowd favorite Friday evening. Possibly my favorite moment of the show was Natalie Crane's performance of "Vacation." Crane was a vocal standout throughout the show, and her performance of "Automatic Rainy Day" with Theresa Chambers was another highlight for me.

Director James Newman and Musical Director Anne McAlexander assembled a fine cast to share this story. The staging was smart and intentional, and the ensemble vocal numbers were thrilling with harmonies and depth I didn't expect given my minimal knowledge of the score prior to my experience Friday. And if the wall of sound put out by the cast wasn't impressive enough, the choreography left me feeling breathless in my seat.... Literally. I don't think there was a single group song that didn't feel like a marathon of dancing.

Kudos to the cast for their hard work, and kudos to the director and choreographer for pushing their students to a level not seen at many colleges. If this production of Head Over Heels is any indication of what we can expect from Nebraska Wesleyan's theatre department this season, I can't wait to see what's ahead.


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