Theatre performances can be done in many different ways. One of these ways is a musical, which mixes songs with dialogue. Musical theatre has many different styles of music within its ranks, and the show that I recently saw focused on Rock Musicals. On Saturday, April 29, 2000 I saw “Rock On! Broadway!” at the Cabaret @ The Spot. It was a brilliant musical revue of songs from Rock Musicals, directed by Glen J. Beck. The shows dialogue honored many critics in the sense that the lines were actual viewpoints on the musicals from the critics’ reviews. Twelve different pieces were performed, each from a different rock musical, and the respective shows were discussed within the dialogue either before or after the song was performed. The selected songs were: “Aquarius” (Hair), “Honestly Sincere” (Bye, Bye, Birdie), “I Don’t Know How To Love Him” (Jesus Christ Superstar), “Corner In The Sky” (Pippin), “Suddenly Seymour” (Little Shop Of Horrors), “I Know Him So Well” (Chess), “My Body” (The Life), “Without You” (Rent), “Any Dream Will Do” (Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat), “Home” (The Wiz), “Summer Nights” (Grease), and “Time Warp” (The Rocky Horror Picture Show).
The audience was packed, and I believe that every seat was taken. The audience really seemed to enjoy the show, and was very lively, constantly applauding, and cheering the performers. The theatre space sits about 100 people, with a rather small stage. The stage was occupied by the live band, 24601. Brendan Riker, Howie Kunzinger, Rick Brown, and T.J. Fitzgerald make up 24601, and together they supplied the music that the other performers sang to. There really was no set, other than 2 platforms strategically placed within the room. The space was used very well by the actors and set designers. The performers used microphones (some with and some without wires) to sing and speak as they traveled throughout the audience and made use of designated areas to perform key points of the show. The lighting was very basic, due to the fact that most of the lights were located where the band was set up. The blocking was great, however the sets and lighting really didn’t do much help set the mood of the performance.
The cast consisted of 9 performers, 4 male, and 5 female. Joshua M. Adler, Alyssa D.Amato, Lily Brennick, Robert Colpitts, Ara H. Muradyan, James Pazner, Elisabeth Sawyer, Erin Tappan, and Catherine Ventiera all gave solid performances with both acting and singing. I especially enjoyed the performance of Jim Pazner, who never fails to bring many laughs to a show. Everyone performed excellently, and showed non-stop energy for the entire evening. The costumes that the characters wore were very basic, but also very effective. The costumes helped to create the mood of the show/song that the performers were recreating. “Rock On! Broadway!” was one of the best musicals that I have seen in a long time. The entire crew did a superb job of putting the production together. I know fist hand how difficult it is to put on a Cabaret show, and this group of people really made it look rather easy. I enjoyed the show very much, and would highly recommend it to anyone that enjoys rock musicals.