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CCM’s “The Rocky Horror Show” Thrills, Chills, and Fulfills

Review of by Nathan Top of “Rocky Horror Picture Show”: CCM Musical Theatre

As UC College Conservatory of Music‘s current musical, “The Rocky Horror Show”, began, I noticed across the way four empty front-row seats in an otherwise sold-out theater. During the production, I came to realize that the individuals who were assigned such seats but unable to attend were the unluckiest people in Cincinnati that evening. 

CCM’s production of “The Rocky Horror Show” is the most joyful, raucous, and irreverent I have had the pleasure of experiencing. The plot consists of newly engaged couple, Brad and Janet, being stranded in the middle of nowhere and forced to ask for help at the “Frankenstein Place.” Once they arrive, they are guided by Dr. Frank ‘N’ Furter through a Wonderland of colorful, sensual characters, each with their own agenda for the evening. 

Most people have at least heard of this show, if not seen it. Similar to a religious setting, the show included many non-scripted rituals of audience participation for those in the know.  The show presented by cast, pit, and crew reinforced why his show is iconic. Brad (Jake Waford) and Janet (Mikayla Renfrow) are hilarious in their earnest naivete, portrayed in their first number, “Damn It, Janet.”  Riff-Raff (Erich Schleck) is deliciously eerie from his first solo during “Over at the Frankenstein Place” and, when joined with Magenta (Sofie Flores) and Columbia (Delaney Guyer), the trio brings the house down with the legendary musical number “Time Warp.” Rocky (Andrew Astat) is not only appropriately chiseled for the role but blessed with a golden voice, revealed during his number “The Sword of Damocles.” Joseph VonKolnitz, portraying both Eddie and Doctor Scott, energetically breezes through his number “Hot Patootie.” However, the true star of the show is Frank ‘N’ Furter, played by the hypnotic Ethan Zeph. From his entrance with the show anthem “Sweet Transvestite,” the audience was captivated. Zeph’s charisma and magnetism elevates the role to what it should always be: iconic. The ensemble of Phantoms (Britta Cowan, Jack Johnson, Christian Kidd, Tyler martin, Brandon Schumacker, Sasha Spitz, Veronica Stern, Jordyn Walker) is a well oiled machine. Singing, dancing, moving set pieces, engaging with the audience, the Phantoms set the tone for the rowdy, ninety-minute whirlwind of a show. 

In looking at the intimate Cohen Family Studio Theater, the space could have felt claustrophobic with such an ambitious show. This is a non-issue thanks to scenic designer and student Joshua E. Gallagher. The world Gallagher has built is transportive and interactive, adding to the fast pace of the show. Costume designer and student Maddie Kevelson captures, with absolutely no subtlety, the sensual color of the show. From head to high-heels, each cast member is dressed to show-stopping sexual spectacle, climaxing with the “Floor Show” before the finale.

The pit, compiled and led by musical director Stephen Goers, is filled with some of Cincinnati’s best musicians and it grooves hard. Aaron Jacobs on bass and Devon Leigh on drums lay it down while Brad Myers shreds over the awesome score. As with most rock musicals, the threat of the cast being overtaken by the band is looming. This show avoids that with effective sound design by Hannah Werle and Chris Jacobs, truly the unsung heroes of the show.

If there are any seats left, I would advise you to fill them ASAP. CCM’s “The Rocky Horror Show” runs through November 10th. Tickets can be purchased here.

The Carnegie Explores Life, Loss, and Legacy in Dramatic Fashion with David Auburn’s “Proof”


Review by Jenifer Moore  of “Proof”: Carnegie Theatre

We are our parents’ children, but we aren’t them. Or are we? 

I found myself pondering this very question while traveling through the trifecta of life, loss, and legacy with the phenomenal cast and crew at The Carnegie’s adaptation of David Auburn’s “Proof”, now showing as a part of the 2019-2020 theatre season. The Tony Award-winning play opens on the eve of a funeral of a mad mathematician, Robert, as his equally brilliant daughter, Catherine, grapples with the reality that her witty father is gone. It is also her twenty-fifth birthday, and the weight of caring for her father for half a decade lays heavy on her mind and heart as she guzzles cheap champagne. 

While the synopsis centers around inheriting the traits of a parent and its associated fear, much more reveals itself over the duration of the roughly 120-minute production. The underlying theme of caregivership looms like a white elephant in a room. Being a caregiver to an ill parent can leave a person feeling isolated, depressed, resentful and a host of other complicated and transitioning emotions. But don’t think this is a heavy, emotional-led play. The comedic quips weaved into the fabric of the script centered around a mathematical proof that needs authentication of authorship offers levity to an otherwise heavy, reflective story. 

The poetic performances of the cast, most notably Allen R. Middleton and Katie Mitchell, in their roles as Robert and Catherine, will tug at your heart and leave you speechless. Middleton’s talent shines at a pivotal point in the production as he showcases his expertise in using voice affliction and cadence to draw in audiences. Jared Erland and Kate Mock Elliott in their supporting roles as Hal and Claire bring balance to the cast in a unique way with their soft, yet firm demeanors.  

Home is a safe haven and Doug Stock, the scenic designer in his second full-time season at The Carnegie, literally gives us one as the set for the drama.  A full house (I repeat.. A FULL HOUSE) complete with a solid roof, windows, and a full back porch is the perfect compliment that was executed effortlessly. Home takes on new meanings–literally and figuratively–as family ages. The set design is a reminder that home may not be home as it was once known, but it still stands on a solid foundation against trials and tribulations. 

The “Proof” is in the cast performances and stellar directing by Tonie Wiggins. This mysterious, yet heart-warming production is a reminder that sometimes we are not our parents, we are destined to be better. I encourage you to grab a friend and prepare to be drawn into “Proof” adapted by The Carnegie–an inspiring tale of life, and legacy. 

“Proof” runs until Nov 17 at The Carnegie located in Covington, KY. Tickets can be purchased online HERE or by calling the box office at (859) 957-1940.

Hang Onto Your Fishnets! CCM’s Spirited “ROCKY HORROR” Will Drive You Insane!


Review by Liz Eichler of “Rocky Horror Picture Show”: CCM Musical theatre

The bare-stage setting of “an abandoned movie theatre in Denton, Ohio on Halloween” is genius. As a group of young people start exploring and joking around the broken-down marquee, the old movie Phantoms reach out and transport them into another world. A theatre’s job is to transport you, and CCM’s “Rocky Horror Picture Show” does that so well, on so many levels.  It transported me to the midnight movies of my youth; it helped me see the nuances of the show though direction and framing, far superior to many other versions I’ve seen; and allowed me to be carried away as the phenomenal cast retelling of the story of the sweet transvestite, from transsexual, Transylvania.

And so it begins: young and naïve Brad (Jake Waford) and Janet (Mikayla Renfrow), caught in the rain when their car breaks down, approach a castle looking for a phone; instead they find a world where the rules they know are broken, allowing for sexual freedoms they never imagined, which they find both compelling and frightening. Just like horror movies of the 50’s, the world includes a maid and butler, the master, his science lab and creation, and some Rock and Roll.

Fans of Rocky Horror will be more than satisfied. There’s a lot of the old and plenty of new ideas in staging. The abandoned movie theatre is a great framework, and the set and costume pallet begins in black, white, and greys of B movies. The set pieces (designed by Joshua E. Gallagher) roll on and off and lock in place as needed, and the actors fluidly enter, exit, and roll over the tables, down the fire pole, sit in the seats and own the space.  Director and choreographer Vince de George knew what to keep sacred and what to explore. Janet and Brad are still square, butler and maid siblings Riff-Raff (Erich Schleck) and Magenta (Sofie Flores) bring weird to another level, the creation Rocky is more than appropriately beefcake and athletic. The star of the show is Ethan Zeph as master Frank ‘N’ Furter, whose moves, freedom, voice, and acting range assure a strong future.  Rounding out the ensemble is Delaney Guyer as a sweet and spunky Columbia, friend of CCM John Harrison as the Narrator, Joseph Von Kolnitz as over the top Eddie/Dr. Scott, and the Phantoms: Britta Cowan. Jack Johnson, Christian Kidd, Tyler Martin, Brandon Schumaker, Sasha Spitz, Veronica Stern and Jordan Walker. They are all a great ensemble vocally and in intricate movements on the studio stage. Glad to see k. Jenny Jones credited as the Fight and Intimacy Director as there are many intimate scenes.

Live music is in ample supply at CCM, and musical director Steven Goers conducts the off-stage musicians (I was in the balcony, so I think they were off-stage). Their sound was balanced well with the wonderful vocals, but at times the band was able to let loose, still at the level of a theatrical show, not a deafening rock concert. Sound (Hannah Werle) is rich and full, with some wonderful added effects.

Lighting (Michael E. Nardella) is crisp and bright or foggy and dark as needed. Costumes (Maddie Kevelson), hair and wigs (Kelly Yurko) are wonderful, with the design of the Floor Show costumes exceptional. (There must have been some amazing wardrobe and dressers backstage–lots of quick changes on stage and off, keeping the show moving quickly.)

Once again, CCM produces an amazing show. Even if you’ve seen it many times (on screen or on stage), this version is a must see.  Try to get tickets. You will be transported.  Call the CCM Box Office today (513)556-4183.

Do the Math and Take in Carnegie’s Proof

Review by Jack Crumley of “Proof”: Carnegie Theatre

The flow of stories from The Carnegiein Covington is going from the all-out rock-out of summer’s “American Idiot”to a thoughtful, award-winning show this autumn with “Proof.” The play from David Auburn developed in New Jersey, and was a Broadway production by about this time in the year 2000. It won the 2001 Pulitzer for drama and the Tony for Best Play. 

“Proof” tells the story of Catherine (played by Katie Mitchell, last seen as Evie in Carnegie’s 2018 production, “In Love and Warcraft”), a 25-year-old struggling with the recent death of her mathematical genius of a father, Robert (Allen R Middleton, in a role that calls for wisdom, warmth, and mania) and her fear of how much she takes after him. Robert was a legendary academic, but his brilliant mind deteriorated in his final years as Catherine dropped out of school to take care of him. Over the course of the play, Catherine is coming to terms with her loss, her current relationship with her perfectionist sister, Claire (Kate Mock Elliott, whom I last saw as Maggie Jones in Covedale’s production of “42nd Street”), and her drive to prove herself in the field where her father already made his mark. 

“Proof” is a challenging script that calls on its small cast to showcase a variety of subtle emotions in every scene. Catherine’s feelings about her father are rooted in love, but there’s an underlying fear of how far the apple falls from the tree. Claire’s insistence on Catherine moving to New York after their father’s death has her meaning well, but she’s also checked out mental health treatment options as a just-in-case. Robert’s former student, Hal (Jared Earland), has been going over Robert’s crazed writings in a search for insight amidst lunacy, but he also has unrequited feelings for Catherine.

When it comes to this production, I’d be remiss if I didn’t start with the set. Scenic designer/production manager Doug Stock built most of a house on stage, and it looks great. I don’t know what kind of brick veneer he used, but I would completely believe it if someone told me that the house was constructed on stage brick-by-brick. It’s the back of the house the audience sees: specifically the table on the backyard deck. It’s a detailed set with some half-dead plants along the side, but it also leads to some challenges when it comes to blocking. In addition to director Torie Wiggins having to get these complex emotions out of the cast, there’s also the task of having them move around the yard in a way that’s interesting and also makes sense. One of the highlights of this show for me is the monologue that Robert gives near the start of Act II; it’s a flashback scene where he’s been lucid for months, and he’s wistfully remembering being on a college campus in the fall with the bookstores full of students. Middleton stands his ground for almost the entire soliloquy, and it really adds to the intensity of the memory.

Each member of the cast has at least one outstanding moment in this show: whether it’s an emotional outburst or a bit of honesty. For me, Middleton’s Robert has his during that college memory speech. There’s a warmth to his voice that wasn’t there when he first appeared as a memory, and it’s absent again at the end when Catherine finds him frantically writing outside in the cold. The character of Catherine has multiple “big moments,” but I was stirred the most when she learns that her sister is selling the house. Interestingly, Mitchell plays Catherine with a unique combination of frustration and surrender after she reveals that she’s the one who wrote a next-level mathematical proof discovered in one of her father’s notebooks. This moment also comes after her character has spent the night with Hal, so Mitchell is layering in those feelings as well. 

For the most part, Hal is the most straightforward role. He’s an earnest, honest nerd who was devoted to being Robert’s mentee. His big moment comes in what’s essentially an act of betrayal when he doesn’t take Catherine’s word that she wrote the proof. Earland plays Hal as struggling with his dedication to pursue knowledge and also his newly-developed feelings with a woman he’s had thoughts about for years. In the aftermath of that doubt, Claire has a standoff when Hal wants to visit Catherine. Mock Elliott portrays Claire with a protective strength combined with a dismissive practicality. 

There aren’t many sound and light cues over the course of the show, but the few that do exist were executed perfectly. The upstairs light where Hal is doing his research turns on and off in a logical time-frame when Hal is entering or exiting. I noticed how spot-on it was. Also there are sound cues of people at a post-funeral get-together in the house that interacts perfectly with the main action on stage. That’s in addition to original music composed by James Allen in between the scenes.

“Proof” is a play about somber memories and emotions that never gets too bogged down in depression. Producing it this time of year is a no-brainer, and I hope The Carnegieaudiences appreciate the multiple layers the actors are putting in every line and action.

There is some swearing in the show, but beyond that, the tone and the themes in general aren’t really appropriate for children (they just wouldn’t be into it.) If you’re looking for a glimpse into the life of a profound young woman whose whole world is in upheaval, make your way to Covington to see “Proof.” It’s playing at The Carnegieon Friday and Saturday evenings and Sunday afternoons through November 17, 2019. Tickets are available here.

Beloved Classic “Pinocchio” Comes to Life at the Madcap Puppet Theater

Review by Mary Kate Groh of “Pinocchio”: Madcap Puppet Theater

Madcap Puppet Theater opens its 2019-2020 Hats Off Series with the cherished tale of “Pinocchio.” This hilarious and engaging performance directed by Dylan Shelton kept the young audience members on the edge of their seats as they watched the story of a wooden puppet who just wants to become a real boy. 

The show opens with a cricket narrating the story of how Geppetto creates a wooden puppet named Pinocchio. One night, Geppetto makes a wish for Pinocchio to become a real boy. The rockstar Blue Fairy makes his wish come true and allows the wooden puppet to move, talk, and think. The Blue Fairy tells Pinocchio that he can become a real boy if he learns to be kind, good, and honest. However, she warns Pinocchio that if he tells a lie, his nose will grow. Geppetto sends Pinocchio to school, however on his way to school, Pinocchio gets lured into skipping school to join Mangia at Fun Land. Pinocchio is unaware that this was a trap to turn all the children into donkeys. Geppetto, worried about Pinocchio, goes out to sea to search for him, however, he gets swallowed by a giant Dogfish. The Blue Fairy comes to Pinocchio to help him escape Fun Land and save Geppetto. After reuniting with his loving Papa, Pinocchio finally turns into a real boy.   

The two actresses, Rachel Bailey and Rachel Kimberlin, did a fantastic job with keeping the young children engaged and entertained. The children were very responsive when the puppeteers asked the audience questions, and when they asked for volunteers to participate in the show, almost every child’s hand flew into the air in excitement. 

The children’s faces lit up when each puppet was brought on stage. The puppets were crafted with such exquisite design by the ever-so-talented Blythe Russo and Chris Douglas. One of my favorite parts of the production was at the end of the performance when Rachel Bailey and Rachel Kimberlin opened the floor for any questions the audience members had, and they took the time to show off the unique puppets that were used in the performance. 

Pinocchio is playing at the Madcap Puppet Theater on November 3, 9, and 10. Tickets: $10, Free for Family Memberships. Tickets can be purchased online or by phone (513) 721-ARTS. Vouchers can be redeemed for complimentary tickets by phone (513) 721-ARTS or in person. More information can be found on the Hats Off Series website: https://madcappuppets.com/programs/hats-off/

Human Race’s “The Cake” is a New Slice of Conflict

Review by Raechel Lombardo of “The Cake”: Human Race Theatre

Bekah Brunstetter’s play “The Cake” brings a new flavor to the modern-day conflict between those in the LGBTQ+ community and those who are of a more conservative mindset.  I often only see productions that are set in an earlier era presenting this issue, but to see it brought up to a contemporary setting is even more powerful, as the LGBTQ+ community still struggles to seek normalcy and acceptance among everyone.

“The Cake” tells the story of Della, a baker who, with her hands full already preparing for casting in “The Great American Baking Show”, is asked to prepare a cake for the wedding of her best friend’s daughter, Jen. When she discovers that Jen is marrying a woman, Della must reconsider her long-held Christian beliefs and assumptions to decide whether she can contribute to a gay wedding.

Each actor was strong in defining their distinct circumstances and characteristics for their roles, and ensured at least some sort of understanding for each character; whether you agree or not you can be swayed into empathy.  Claire Kennedy as Jen brings such wonderful depth to such a kind character. Candice Handy is unapologetic, truthful, and real in her hard exterior as Macy, Jen’s fiancee. Tim Lile, as Della’s husband Tim, works an unexpected child-like angle for his close-minded “man’s man”. Finally, Laurie Carter Rose as Della handles the confusion and desire for understanding, love, and to be heard in such a delicious way that can help to bridge that connection that some may be missing. Her performance is made even stronger by the distinguishing, contrasting dynamics of Handy, Kennedy, and Lile, each of whom offers a new perspective for Rose to taste, marinate over, and grow from in her continuous hunger for insight as her character develops.

Director Greg Hellems has clearly standardized an open conversation and trust among his actors and team.  Stage manager Jacquelyn Duncan deserves kudos for being so on top of clean-ups and proper executions of food for the sake of the humor–it must have been stressful!  Jay Brunner as sound designer establishes a fun transition from reality to fantasy game show that is so enjoyable without visuals.  Scenic designer Dan Gray must have had a blast replicating that bakery that everyone has seen at some point with the pastels and religious décor: very familiar and spot-on.  Costume Designer Jessica Pitcairn took these unique, specific, individual people and made sure their wardrobe fit them to a T (or tee, rather).  And John Rensel as lighting designer distinguished that precise store lighting from night lighting, lamps, and hotspots, which all were instrumental in performing certain jokes.

The Human Race Theatre Company’s theme for the 2019-2020 season is “Women of Influence:  Their Power, Passion and Pitfalls”. I say this as this company is honoring this theme very well with what has started and what’s to come (even starting at the end of last season with their incredible production of “Lizzie”).  This is a play that provides a strong variety in female characters that are so different and individualistic, often a difficult opportunity to come by for women in the industry who otherwise must settle for more stereotypic parts.

“The Cake” is performed by Dayton’s Human Race Theatre through November 17th. Tickets can be obtained at Human Race’s website, http://humanracetheatre.org.

Hear the Beat of Dancing Feet at CCM’s Latest ”42nd Street”!

Review by John Woll of “42nd Street”: CCM Musical Theatre

Cincinnati’s Broadway factory has gotten out their tap shoes at The Conservatory of Music for their season opening production of the classic musical “42nd Street”’ playing at The University of Cincinnati in the 740-seat Corbett Auditorium. Playbill magazine recently recognized UC as one of the most represented colleges on Broadway and it is only fitting that this “show within a show” takes place in New York City in 1933.  

Warner Brother’s “42nd Street”film was released in 1933 and restored the fortunes of the movie musical, set to songs written by composer Harry Warren and lyricist Al Dubin. Those songs, including “Shuffle Off to Buffalo,” “You’re Getting to Be a Habit with Me,” “Young and Healthy,” and, of course, the title tune, were retained for the stage musical version with the score augmented to include other movie musicals of the ‘30s. The choreography was staged by legendary dance director Busby Berkeley, known for his chorus girl “parade of faces” and kaleidoscopic dance patterns.

47 years later, the 1980 Broadway production was directed by Gower Champion and won the Tony Award for Best Musical and became a long-running hit! CCM alumnus Lee Roy Reams originated the role of juvenile Billy Lawlor and was nominated for both the Tony and Drama Desk Awards as Best Featured Actor in a Musical for his performance.This fall, Reams generously hosted a series of masterclasses for CCM students sharing the impact that this show has had on his career.

CCM’s production opens with Roger Grodsky (musical director and conductor) and his incredible orchestra majestically elevated by hydraulic lift for their magical overture. The musicians were impeccable, bringing out all of the richness of the score. It was amazing to witness these often unseen artists. There are few more famous openings in musical theatre: the curtain rises a few inches, just enough to reveal a line of tap shoes volcanically thundering away.

The backstage musical tells the story of Peggy Sawyer, a talented young performer with stars in her eyes who hopes to get her big break on Broadway. Peggy arrives to New York City from her hometown of Allentown, Pennsylvania and her talent catches the eye of famed Broadway director Julian Marsh. She gets a spot in the chorus of his newest show, “Pretty Lady”. Dorothy Brock, the classic Broadway diva and star of the show, takes a dislike to the new girl. When Dorothy is injured, “Pretty Lady” looks like it will have to close, unless a new girl talented enough to lead the show can be found –someone like Peggy Sawyer!

Production values don’t get any higher than CCM’s with incredible sets designed by Mark Halpin, countless breathtakingly opulent costumes (Reba Senske), perfectly period-appropriate hair and makeup (Samantha Kittle) and all brilliantly illuminated by Jeremy Mayo’s lighting design. The Tra-la-la direction by Diane Lala moves the show along at a perfect pace adding some wonderful moments of depth to what could be an old Golden Age cliche. The choreography by Lala and Katie Johannigman pays tribute to the original Gower Champion, while infusing a fresh feel to the numbers that keep the show alive, staged with machine-like precision.  

Michael Canu as Andy Lee is equipped with spectacular tap sounds and is amazing to watch while “teaching” in the opening audition number and has some fabulous solo work in “We’re in the Money”. Bailee Enderbrock phenomenally harkens to Ann Miller and Grace Kelly in her portrayal of Peggy Sawyer and is, without a doubt, a brilliant triple threat. Jamie Goodson as Dorothy Brock sets the tone for whole show displaying incredible vocals with excellent projection and surprising modernity. Jack Brewer as Billy Lawlor sports a million dollar smile, dazzling tenor vocals and really shines in the 42nd Street tap ballet. There are many other standouts in this top notch cast with the full ensemble furnishing the stage with the energy of crystal clear tap sounds, melodious harmonies and glimmering optimism. 

It is a nostalgia fest for people longing to be taken back to an imagined golden age in which troubles could be tapped away by smiling chorus girls (even if that time was actually the Great Depression). Come see the future of Broadway at CCM and get at first look at the next generation headed to the Great White Way. 

The CCMONSTAGE Musical Series presents the ultimate show-biz musical “42nd Street” thru Oct. 27, 2019. Tickets can be purchased in person or by calling the CCM Box Office 513-556-4183

CCM’s “42nd Street”: a Delightful Romp Through Showbiz America

Review by Nathan Top of “42nd Street”: CCM Musical theatre

Based on the novel of the same name written by Bradford Ropes, University of Cincinnati’s College Conservatory of Music‘s latest production, “42nd Street”, tells the story of Peggy Sawyer, a young actor embarking on her first audition to be in 1933 Broadway’s newest show, “Pretty Lady.”  The original 1981 production went on to win Tony Award for Best Musical, as well as best choreography.

While the show is set primarily backstage of a Broadway theater, the scenery transforms into several technicolorful locations, including a hotel, a train station, and a dressing room. Some of the largest reveals in the show are when a backdrop is raised to reveal one of the beautiful scenic structures. Scenic designer Mark Halpin has created a large world that feels shiny and new, yet also conveys the home that can be found behind the scenes of a running musical. 

As the overture to the show begins, the pit rises from beneath the stage, revealing a hardworking group comprised of CCM’s well-trained musicians. Needless to say, this show has the best pit in town. Not often do audiences have the opportunity to see a fully orchestrated pit with all the parts covered, since most productions use a reduced orchestration due to cost or lack of musicians. The score is not light; as with all dance-heavy productions, there is a lot of music. Between vocal numbers and extensive dance numbers, the pit has work to do and they do it well.  Under the direction of Roger Grodsky, the pit would steal the show if every other aspect wasn’t as equally impeccable. 

The show runs about two and a half hours with intermission, yet it breezes by as every moment of the show is captivating. From the leading roles to the members of the ensemble, the entire cast is on point for the whole of the run. Bailee Endebrock, leading the show as Peggy Sawyer, is a formidable triple threat whose dance in the title-number of the show is one of the best finales I have seen in awhile. The shows second leading lady, Jamie Goodson as Dorothy Brock, captures the layers of her character effortlessly while, at the same time, perfectly timing her one liners and physical comedic moments. One of the best moments of the entire show was lead by Nick Berninger, as Julian Marsh, singing “Lullaby of Broadway,” which caused the audience to pause for a moment in awe before erupting into waves of applause.

With every aspect of this show being truly outstanding, the definitive show-stealer is the choreography. From the beginning, the show’s opening tap number, featuring the vivacious Michael Canu as Andy Lee, puts a collective smile on the face of the audience. It only gets better from there. With clear inspiration drawn from the original choreography of Tony winners Gower Champion and Randy Skinner,  Diane Lala and Katie Johannigman turn the stage into a jovial playground for the cast, as each musical number seems to top the last with immersively exuberant dancing. 

If you are only able to see one show this fall, CCM’s “42nd Street” is the show to see. Running now through October 27th, tickets can be purchased here.