CCMâ€˜S ‘They Were You’Â is aÂ Joyful Exploration of Life
Review by Liz Eichler of They Were You: CCM Musical Theatre
CCMâ€™s They Were You: The Songs of Tom Jones and Harvey Schmidt is a delightful, moving and well-constructed evening at the theatre.Â Devised by the Chair of the Musical Theatre Department, Aubrey Berg, with musical arrangement by Stephen Goers, it is being produced through October 9 at the Cohen Family Studio Theatre at UCâ€™s College-Conservatory of Music.
You may know the Jones/Schmidt team from The Fantastiks (the worldâ€™s longest running musical), Â I Do, I Do,Â or 110 in the Shade. The team wrote other musicals as well, and the songs are from eight of them.
This musical revue takes you through lifeâ€™s phases of love, marriage, disillusionment and beyond. It is a fluid exploration of the feelings of youth and experience, visiting the simple joys of feeling a baby move inside you, to the complicated feelings of a parent looking forward to the time the kids move outâ€”and then the equally complicated time of missing them. It all leads to joy.
The performers include Karl Amundson, Aria Braswell, Michelle Coben,Â Stavros Koumbaros and Gabe Wrobel. All are well trained, with great voices, movement and skill, but the evening belongs to Emily Celeste Fink, who commands the room during most of her numbers including â€œLove is Not a Sentiment Worthy of Respect.â€ She also plays the trumpet!
Choreographer Katie Johannigman and director Aubrey Berg have designed a show that moves fluidly in continually interesting ways. Musical director Stephen Goers has elevated the material from traditional orchestration to adding vocal harmonies, keeping us focused on the skill of the performers as well as the depth of the emotion in the songs.
Free tickets to this Studio Series performance can be reserved at the CCM Box Office or by calling 513-556-4183