By Sarah Carlson, Arts Editor
“A Grand Night for Singing,” a revue of more than 30 of Rodgers and Hammerstein’s classic musical numbers, is enjoyable and lightweight entertainment designed with the musical lover in mind.
Ten actors—Juliette Miller, Ben Jeffrey, Annika Johansson, Heather Ketchersid, Lara Seibert, Sunday Ibok, Ryan Massie, Ryan Fonville, Jason Kennedy and Jessica Patterson—shift through scenes, changing roles and singing partners, smiling broad enough to challenge many a Sing Song face and cooing over the wonderfulness of love. The set up takes the viewer through the various emotions and stages of love, whether it be puppy, unrequited, married or the love for a child.
A problem that comes with a musical revue is that it’s just that—a revue. Hits from Rodgers and Hammerstein’s plethora of musicals dating back to the 1950s and 1960s are spliced throughout, meaning there’s no dialogue and essentially no plot. The play deals in abstracts and merely brushes over the themes of love, and, personally, hearing songs I grew up with out of context was distracting. When I hear “Oh, What a Beautiful Morning,” I picture Gordon MacRae riding a horse through a corn field, or I envision nuns singing in a courtyard when “Maria” is sung.
Nevertheless, I found myself tapping my foot and smiling at parts along with the actors and the audience, which was made up of every age group. “The Sound of Music,” “Oklahoma!,” “South Pacific,” “Cinderella,” “Carousel,” “State Fair” and “The King and I” are the main musicals from which the numbers are pulled. If you enjoy watching old musicals or just happened to be in show choir in high school, you’ll recognize most of the songs and be entertained at the company’s performances.
“Honey Bun” from “South Pacific” was the best number, performed by the cast but headlined by Jeffrey and Ibok. All 10 actors have impressive voices, which unfortunately were sometimes drowned out by the musical accompaniment. Still, they provided the energy needed to present more than 30 songs in two acts with plenty of choreography and no dialogue.
The Fall Dinner Theatre is a pleasant and carefree night out and enjoyable for the entire family.
Remaning dates: Sept. 2-3 and 9-10. Dinner begins at 6:45 p.m., the show at 8 p.m. Dinner plus show tickets are $27, show-only tickets are $15 and may be charged to your student account. Box office is open Monday – Friday, 1-5 p.m. Call: Ext. 2787