Broadway Showtunes by Big Little Theatre School is bringing Broadway magic to the Pavilion Theatre, featuring more than 150 young performers and a flawless live orchestra, 17-19 July.
Review by Jasmine Watkiss
The opening night was jam-packed with proud families and eager audience members, and the show began with a heart-warming video and photomontage of rehearsals. Tunes from the musical Evita opened the epic two-and-a-half hour extravaganza, and the striking, discordant impact of the entire cast singing together, in anguished mourning of the death of Eva Peron, gave me goose bumps. Although a handful of solo singers occasionally struggled to reach the high notes, and there were sporadic issues with microphones, this did not detract from the overall quality of the show.
With show tunes from classics such as The Addams Family and Disney’s Hercules, Jekyll & Hyde, Calamity Jane and the lesser-known (but no less fantastic) Loserville, Crazy For You and The Station Master, the hard-working performers maintained their boundless energy throughout the show. Mamma Mia and Loserville in particular were a delight to watch – I’ve scribbled the exclamations, “So much fun!” “Delightfully sassy!” in my notes. With the entire cast on stage, the atmosphere was electric, and I was thrilled to see the joy and enthusiasm on each face. These talented kids plainly love what they’re doing.
The choreography and execution of the moves were particularly impressive; performers danced fluidly whilst confidently belting out a tune. It became apparent that many performers were ballet-trained to a high standard – one athletic male dancer leaped up and did the splits in mid-air. The cast moved as one, like a well-oiled machine, with not an arm or leg out of place.
The younger children, who performed classic tunes from Calamity Jane and Shrek The Musical amongst others, sang angelically one minute, and powerfully the next – I was awestruck by the sound emitted from such tiny kids!
The live orchestra was incredible, tirelessly accompanying the hefty cast, and dazzling the appreciative audience with their immaculately-performed music. Several show-goers (myself included) stayed behind to peer into the pit and applaud the hard-working musicians when they finished. “That’ll do,” said the conductor, with an exhausted beam on his face; that’ll do indeed.
As the curtain went down, audience members were raised to their feet, roaring with applause, clear evidence of the fact that Broadway Showtunes is a dazzling, thrilling, funny and joyful show. Each and every performer should be extremely proud of their colossal achievement and the hours they have put in to the rehearsals. The students are a force to be reckoned with on stage.
Find out more about Big Little Theatre School at www.biglittle.biz.