Review: BROADWAY DIVAS at Greenfinch Theater And Dive Bar

Divas is the First of Prism Theatre Company's Meadowlark Cabaret Series

By: May. 25, 2024
Review: BROADWAY DIVAS at Greenfinch Theater And Dive Bar
Enter Your Email to Unlock This Article

Plus, get the best of BroadwayWorld delivered to your inbox, and unlimited access to our editorial content across the globe.

Existing user? Just click login.

Prism Theatre Company rolled out their new production concept at Greenfinch Theater and Dive Bar on Thursday Evening.  BROADWAY DIVAS is the first installment of their Meadowlark Cabaret Series. Their company of 14 local actors performed 18 musical theatre songs originated by some of the best-known divas in Broadway history, featuring music by some of the most lauded musical theatre composers. While the production is billed as a cabaret performance, BROADWAY DIVAS is more of a musical revue that featured 5 dynamic and memorable vocal performances.  

The show opens and closes with two ensemble numbers with the entire cast performing a piece from Kander and Ebb’s CHICAGO and Andrew Lloyd Webber’s SUNSET BOULEVARD. Both numbers were beautifully sung by the ensemble, but the rendition of Lloyd Webber’s “As If We Never Said Goodbye,” with lovely short solos from Kristen Lintvedt and Kay Love, was a stunning close to an enjoyable evening. Joining Lintvedt and Love in the company on both numbers was DeRance Blaylock, Jude Cash, Tori Shea Cole, Michele Burdette Elmore, Jaelyn Hawkins, Angela Healy, Kanisha Kellum, Avery Lux, Marissa Meyers, Jennifer Theby Quinn, and Brea Rollston.  

Lintvedt delivered an outstanding angelic performance of “Will He Like Me” from SHE LOVES ME. Her celestial soprano is magnificent. Lintvedt possesses perfect pitch, exceptional diction, bright tone, with a resonant and airy timbre. The quality of her sound coupled with her thoughtful phrasing created a breathtaking musical moment. She has delivered exceptional performances in her last three stage appearances. Lintvedt is one of St. Louis’ younger, new in career actors, who needs to be watched. Her star is on the rise.  

DeRance Blaylock delivered the other showstopper with her powerhouse rendition of “Don’t Rain on My Parade” from FUNNY GIRL. From her opening notes to her soaring ending, she captured the room and slayed the audience with a sensational performance. Blaylock knows how to deliver an anthem with bold power and never disappoints when she takes the stage.  

Jennifer Theby Quinn and Michele Burdette Elmore delivered the other two stellar performances that illustrated what happens when an actor connects to a song in musical theatre. Quinn’s in-your-face rendition of Lerner and Lowe’s “Just You Wait” and Elmore’s acerbic “Ladies Who Lunch” momentarily took the audience out of the musical revue moment to present a character. Quinn’s take on Eliza Doolittle was a delight as she figuratively, and literally in the end, flipped the bird at Henry Higgins. Elmore jadedly strutted on stage, martini glass in tow, and recreated COMPANY’s burned out and apathetic Joanne with a delivery that was more Lupone-like than Stritch. Both of their performances were splendid.  

The night was rounded out with satisfactory solo performances from most of the remaining cast members, but there were a couple of numbers that were complete misses. It would have been prudent for director Caleb D. Long and music director Paula Scarboro to remove or change the selections prior to opening. A musical revue provides great flexibility to find selections better suited to a performer, or to completely remove a number to avoid humbling a performer in front of an audience. 

Long served as emcee for the evening, introducing most performers with a bit of scripted banter between each number. It allowed the performer to show a little of their personality to the audience prior to the number, but the best transitions occurred when the performers introduced one another. Allowing the performers to introduce themselves and explain their connection to the song would achieve more of a true cabaret nightclub feeling. 

The first installment of Prism Theatre Company’s new concept for a cabaret series was entertaining and mostly successful. If an encore production is scheduled, it is worth seeing BROADWAY DIVAS for the sensational solo performances of Lintvedt, Blaylock, Quinn, Elmore, and the company's work on “As If We Never Said Goodbye.”  


To post a comment, you must register and login.