Broadway At War!
Directed by Joshua Bramkamp
Choreographed by Angelyn Rhode
The Princess Theatre, Sanford FL
War is hell, and sometimes it takes a long time to get news from the front. But when it arrives ignore the vintage newspaper style flyer; this show is NOT The Andrews Sisters channeling Glenn Miller. Even its relation to military conflict is occasionally a bit obscure, you have to sit down and think how songs from “Jekyll and Hyde,” “Urinetown” and “Ragtime” all relate. Be aware you can hurt you brain thinking about stuff like that, better to just sit back and enjoy this cleverly staged review.
Voices can get lost in the cavernous Princess Theatre but they sound fine if a bit distant, and if you’re hard of hearing the dancing is nicely done courtesy of Choreographer Rhode. Bracketing the show are a pair of songs from “Hair” done ensemble – both “Aquarius” and “Flesh Failure / Let the Sun Shine In” were populated by long haired hippies dancing like they’re at a Grateful Dead show. Actually, they were better dancers; real hippies didn’t have ambitions to be great on stage, it run contrary to their philosophy. “Cabaret” gave us two songs: Tara Corless’s sexy lament “Maybe This Time” and a laconic “Money” from Andrew Emery and his two accompanying rent boys. The one singer who conquered this hall was Jamaal Solomon; even across that long concrete arena he got my attention with Ragtime’s “Make Them Hear You” and “Bui Doi” from Miss Saigon. Josh Bramkamp directed and somehow got most of the leads with two cuts from “Jesus Christ Super Star” a duet with Natasha Harrison on a track from “The Scarlet Pimpernel” and a front and center role in the ensemble “One More Day” from Les Miserables. Ignore the low sound levels and the even lower internal temperatures, and this was a thoroughly enjoyable evening. There may be a war on, but the people not fighting face to face still have time for some snappy dresses and beautiful arrangements. Here’s a tip: next time you visit this cute performance space in the bustle of First Street Sanford, sit on the side so you can see the sound booth. That show can be almost as much fun as the one you official paid to see.
For more information on The Princess Theatre, please visit http://www.celerysoupsanford.com/princess-theater/