BWW Review: POWERHOUSE VOCALISTS WERE ON STAGE IN VIVID THEATRE PRODUCTIONS' BROADWAY MISCAST at Powerstories Theatre
Vivid Theatre Productions production of Broadway Miscast revue at Powerstories Theatre was a perfect midweek break from a busy work week.
A fundraiser for the upcoming new semiprofessional theatre company, the talent showcased on the stage was truly some of the best voices in local musical theatre. The stage was bare sans a stool, music stand, and Broadway titles projected on a huge white screen.
If Wednesday evening is any indication of the vocals in the company's two musicals in its season, the public is in for a treat.
Performing to a nearly sold-out audience, 11 men and women gender-swapped famous Broadway ballads and comedic songs and sang their hearts out to music they would never get the opportunity to perform otherwise.
Broken into two acts with a 15-minute intermission in between, in the first hour, to open each song, the singer told a story of what it meant to them. What I loved about actors who are also singers, rather than someone who was strictly a singer, was that you are transported into the story. Whether it's a slump of the shoulder, a hand raised, a facial expression, the use of the stool, or any number of creative storytelling devices, these 11 allowed us to have an experience, not just hear a song. The snippets of the introduction made the song that followed feel all the more personal. In the second act dedicated to inspiration works, the dialogue receded, and the moving songs took center stage.
Highlighting 26 diverse musicals and showcasing the voices of Sean McKinley, Kidany Camillo, Lena Morrisseau, Jason Ensor, Erica Garraffa, Topher Warren, Chonesty Montgomery, Sonali Balan, Bri Filippelli, founder Drew Eberhard and its youngest performer, 14-year-old Brilee Gold, Broadway Miscast featured a beautiful, well-thought-out mixture from the classics like Dreamgirls, Pippin, Cabaret and Follies to contemporary like Dear Evan Hansen, Heathers, Waitress, and Hadestown. The voices were tremendous, and the cast was having such a good time, the variety simply added to the audience enjoyment.
The interesting thing was the transition of songs was seamless. Had there not been references to pronouns that didn't match the vocalist, if you didn't know the show or the song, you'd never know any difference. The songs were just as beautiful song by either male or female.
Some of the stand out moments of the 26 powerhouse performances included Sean's I Can Do Better Than That from The Last Five Years, Kidany's playful Nobody Does It Like Me from See Saw, Lena's Make Them Hear You from Ragtime, Topher's She Used to Be Mine from Waitress, Chonesty's I Who Have Nothing from Smokey Joes Café, Sonali's I Love Betsy from Honeymoon in Vegas, Brilee's Santa Fe from Newsies, and Bri's Waving Through A Window from Dear Evan Hansen.
Three showstoppers were Jason's Burn from Hamilton, Erica's acoustic guitar rendition of Epic III from Hadestown, and Drew's I'm Here from The Color Purple. All 26 performances received rousing applause from the appreciative audience.
Though after the close of the show, I was left craving some duets from the fabulous vocals on stage, the talent was exceptional and I'm hoping another revue - gender swapping or not - is in the near future.