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Dominion Stage The Musical of Musicals (The Musical!)

By • Jan 10th, 2009 • Category: Reviews
The Musical of Musicals (The Musical!)
Dominion Stage
Gunston Arts Center Theater One, Arlington, VA
$17/$15 Seniors and Students
Playing through January 25th
Reviewed January 9, 2009

The Musical of Musicals (The Musical!) is a musical revue (go figure) with music by Eric Rockwell, lyrics by Joanne Bogart. Book by Eric Rockwell and Joann Bogart. This show is what could be called “insider’s theater.” If you’ve never or rarely attended musicals before, this show will not be very entertaining.

To sum it up, it was entertainment, singing and dancing with no plot. The genres being spoofed ranged from good ol’ tried and true Rodgers and Hammerstein’s big musicals like Oklahoma! and the Sound of Music; Stephen Sondheim, with Into the Woods, Company, and Sweeney Todd; and Jerry Herman, especially Mame and Hello, Dolly!. Act II continued with Andrew Lloyd Weber and his big reverberating sensations such as Cats, The Phantom of the Opera, and Evita. The final set of this corny (get it? Corn!, oh, well, anyway) and adventurous musical journey was Speakeasy, a take off of Kander and Ebb’s Cabaret and Chicago.

The four well-chosen cast members (Amy Conley, Sam Nystrom, Harv Lester, and Katie McManus) sang and danced their roles seriously; while the audience roared. This variety show had no deeper meaning or message to teach.

The choreography was fast and appropriate to each musical’s style. The choreographers were William D. Parker and Catherine Oh. There were some shadows cast that made it difficult to see some of the actors faces. Sound problems, other than a horrendous squeal that startled everyone towards the end of the first act, were minor. Sound Designer was Keith Bell and Light Designer was Jeffery Scott Auerbach. The simple set was perfectly designed, giving ample flexibility to the cast. The set was designed by Jared Davis.

The Kander and Ebb sequence was the most suggestive of the dance numbers. It was good that there were signs in the lobby warning about the adult references to alcohol, drugs, and themes. Despite Dominion Stage’s intentions, this is not “entertainment for the entire family.”

If you like musical revues, or have performed or worked in many musicals, you’ll revel in this show. If you are new to musical theater, you will probably be lost and won’t enjoy the production. The Musical of Musicals ran about an hour and forty minutes with one intermission. It is playing through Sunday January 25th. Friday and Saturdays at 8 PM and matinees on Sunday at 2 PM at the Gunston Arts Center Theater One in Arlington, Virginia. Once you’ve seen The Musical of Musicals (The Musical!), please share your thoughts about it.

And now, on with the show.

Director’s Note

As you watch today, ask yourself these questions:

What was the first muscial you remember seeing? Live or on film? For me, I remeber Jesus Christ, Superstar… my elementary school music teacher was in the chorus at a local professional company in Omaha. One day, she left the glitter in her hair, and I could say, “I saw the whole thing, not just the glitter, but the dancing, and the band, it was so cool!”

What was the first musical you worked on, as in performed on stage, or backstage, or the like? For me, I performed in Oklahoma!. My claim to fame was having a name, Ike Skidmore. In an R&H production, you either have a name, or you are Cowboy 45, or Island Girl 56. Tenth grade and I had a name, I was a star!

The first show I music directed? Cabaret, in a tiny theater in Annapolis, the bonus was ending up in the cast since a chorus boy left two weeks before opening.

The first show I directed? Into the Woods, including folks you’ll see on stage and their work backstage, who have become great friends and colleagues. Sorry, Jerry Herman, I’ve never worked on any of your shows, but I certainly have seen them many times.

When going through your own personal musical history, I am suyre that these five composers and writers will come up many times, and with many fond memories. Think back to those shows as we squish them all together into 90 minutes of silly fun. If you don’t know the joke, ask someone during intermission or at the end… I’m sure there is someone near you that will know it.

Cast

  • Abby: Amy Conley
  • Jeter: Harv Lester
  • June: Katie McManus
  • Willy: Sam Nystrom

Crew

  • Producers: Richard Isaacs and Spencer Lepler
  • Director/Choreographer- William D. Parker
  • Music Director/Pianist: Mickey Daguiso
  • Stage Manager: Joan A.S. Lada
  • Assistant Stage Manager: Jim Callery, Matt Pastic
  • Co-Choreographer: Catherine Oh
  • Stage Combat Choreographer: Steve Lada
  • Scenic Design/Set Painting Design: Jared Davis
  • Properties/Costume Design: Larissa Norris
  • Master Carpenter: David M. Moretti
  • Lighting Designer: Jeffrey Scott Auerbach
  • Lighting Crew: Ben Allen, Nick Brown, Spencer Lepler
  • Spot Operators: Juan Felipe Rincon, Sarah Stephens
  • Load In Crew: Brian Kane, George Schlosser, Reginald Waters
  • Sound Design: Keith Bell
  • Sound Crew: Ben Allen
  • Master Electrician: Nick Brown
  • Set Construction Crew: Jim Callery, Hector Lorenzini, Matt Pastic
  • Light Board Operator: Joni Hughes
  • Auditions: Cathy Oh
  • Audition Pianists: Elisa Rosman, Brian Victor
  • Box Office: Bill Parker
  • Campaign Photography: Jarret Baker, REginald Waters
  • Campaign Video: Matthew Pastic
  • Archival Photography: Jarret Baker
  • Programs: Laury Sendek
  • Marketing/Logo Design: Dave Moretti
  • Front of House: The Dominion Board
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started ShowBizRadio in August 2005 because they love live theater. They each have both performed in and worked behind the scenes in DC area productions, as well as earned a Career Studies Certificate in Theater from Northern Virginia Community College. Mike & Laura are each members of the American Theatre Critics Association, and Mike is a member of the Online News Association.

2 Responses »

  1. The shrill shreek you complained about, and I think there are two, come from Sweeney Todd. Its the sound of throats being cut by a shaving razor..Not a sound defect.

  2. I saw this show this weekend, and while I have an extensive knowledge of Musical Theatre, I don’t think that should deter people from seeing the show at all.
    You referenced 2 times that people not “in the know” would be bored, and I think it’s just the opposite. I had a great time and recommend it to anyone.