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The World Goes Round
a Musical Revue
CATEGORY :
by John Kander and Fred Ebb

COMPANY : Stage Door Players [WEBSITE]
VENUE : Stage Door Players [WEBSITE]
ID# 2683

SHOWING : March 14, 2008 - April 13, 2008

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PRODUCTION DESCRIPTION

"Sometimes you're happy and sometimes you're sad - but the world goes 'round." Life - with its glories, indignities, hopes and quiet dreams - is the subject of this stunning revue of the beloved songs of John Kander and Fred Ebb.

The vast range of human experience is explored in song after impeccable song by one of Broadway's most daring and successful teams and masters of the heart-grabbing Broadway showstopper. This glittering revue features unforgettable gems from throughout their incredible career in theatre, film and television, spotlighting songs from "Cabaret;" "Chicago;" "New York, New York;" "Funny Lady;" "Kiss Of The Spiderwoman" and more.


CAST & CREW LIST
Director/Choreographer Jen MacQueen
Musical Director Linda Uzelac
Costume Design Jim Alford
Sound Design Dan Bauman
Stage Manager Blake Hall
Production Manager Courtney Loner
Scenic Design Chuck Welcome
Lighting Design John David Williams
Trumpet Reid Lyons
Woman #3 Laura Floyd
Woman #1 Kathleen McCook
Woman #2 Rachel Miller
Man #2 Joseph Swaney
Man #1 Craig Waldrip
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REVIEWS

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Now THIS is entertainment!
by line!
Sunday, March 16, 2008
4.5
SDP’s “The World Goes Round” is a first class production!

The combination of the talent on stage, in the pit, in the design and direction, behind the lighting and in the house management is head and shoulders above what a community theatre audience normally gets. The audiences for this show are getting one helluva bargain here! They are paying community theatre ticket prices for an incredibly professional quality production.

Let me say without a doubt, I am the farthest thing from a musical theatre geek. I’m not one of those people that get all excited and “moist” about the topic of musical theatre. I enjoy some of it and tolerate the rest. But it is not my first choice when it comes to theatre.

I do, however, appreciate good performances, no matter the genre. A good performance, for me, is when I see talented people performing well.

But, what I really enjoy is great performances! A great performance is when I see talented people WORKING!

“The World Goes Round” qualifies as a great performance for me, because these are not only extremely talented performers, but they are working every minute of the show! Great talent, when it is challenged, and excels, is the best if you ask me.

One of the things I really liked was that the singers were not wearing microphones. Even though the orchestra was mic’d and amplified (and mixed beautifully I might add). The singers had to project to be heard! And they did! And they stayed on pitch and kept a beautifully clear vocal tone at the same time! It was magnificent! The blend of the amplified “orchestra” (more like a pit band) and the un-amplified voices was perfect.

Stage Door is a more intimate venue than some other theaters that do musicals, so it worked very well here, but I sure wish more theatres would try to do it this way. Part of the joy of live performance for me is the dynamics of the music. It takes a lot of skill for an orchestra to play effectively without drowning out the singer. Likewise it takes a lot of skill for a singer to stay on top of an orchestra. I feel that mics on singers in theatre are often used as a way to compensate for a lack of skill.

As much as I would like to single out each individual performer in this show for praise, I can’t. No single one was better than the others. Each is gifted with superior talent and each performed with a level of exquisite showmanship that was very impressive; both individually and as an ensemble.

The direction of the show was “pitch perfect”. The bits of business, choreography and added props made the different songs even more entertaining, yet smartly kept the focus on the music. The movement on stage was smooth and well matched to the material and the performers abilities.

The production and design team also did an exquisite job. The set was simple. It was a multi-layered series of black flats painted with various show and theater titles which were individually illuminated at the appropriate time. This allowed the audience to keep up with the source of the song being performed.

This is not a complaint, just an example of how my mind works, but it reminded me of the closing credits to the old “Rocky and Bullwinkle” cartoon show from the 60’s (Sorry Chuck).

The lighting (a much more elaborate approach than Stage Door normally does) was anything but simple, but was complimentary to the performances (although coming close to overshadowing it at times). The lighting designs at SDP have always been excellent, but this show’s design took things to a new level.

The orchestration was played with great skill and élan. The “orchestra” featured a mix of keyboards, a solo acoustic brass player and an acoustic drum set that was mic’d and perfectly mixed through the theatre’s sound system. The sound was full, but not overpowering, and was a tasty blend of tones which fit the performances (and the venue) perfectly.

Lest you think I loved absolutely everything about this show, be aware there were some artistic choices in the show that didn’t quite work for me personally: “Cabaret” as a jazzy arrangement reminiscent of “Manhattan Transfer” (for instance). And there were too many ballads in the song selection for my tastes. But these are personal differences in taste and in no way do I have any complaints about the quality of the performances (even if I have some disagreements otherwise).

This is a musical review in the truest sense of the genre. It is songs, songs and more songs with a little bit of visual “razzamatazz” added to give the eyes something to do while the ears are being treated to some aural delights. Though the source material came from some of the best musical theatre, this is not theatre. It is closer to a nightclub act in my opinion.

But no matter what you call it, above all else, it is most definitely great entertainment!
-Rial
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