It may have been a cloudy Arts Fest Thursday, but Boston College’s Musical Theatre Wing (MT Wing) parted the skies with their playful “Dream Role” cabaret.
The MT Wing prides itself on its pursuit of fostering an appreciation and love of musical theatre, a mission statement that also encompasses its strives toward community service in the arts through their spreading of theatre to young children. Its latest production included a condensed concert version of Spring Awakening in O’Connell House on Feb. 25, and its next collaborative project is “The Book of Carney,” a parody musical about the various social aspects of BC written and directed by Anthony Perasso, LSOE ’17.
The cabaret began tenderly with a rendition of “Someone to Watch Over Me” from Crazy for You. Caroline Merritt, MCAS ’18 displayed her combined vocal and dramatic capabilities in the performance, allowing for both her silky soprano range and emotive expressions to merge with sweet warmth.
From ballad to ’60s disco hit, Joseph McCarthy, CSOM ’17, then seized the stage with Jersey Boys’ “Oh, What a Night.” His smooth vocals and sprightly disposition created a mist of enthusiasm over the intimate audience within the O’Neill Arts Tent.
Simon Rogers, CSOM ’17, shifted the disco vibes to a more solemn, rock-infused mood, executing “One Song Glory” from Rent with gruff intensity.
Julia James, MCAS ’17, performed “One Perfect Moment” from Bring It On: The Musical. Her portrayal of the pop-influenced ballad about aiming for and ultimately achieving one’s dream conveyed the dichotomy of urgency and delight with effortless expertise.
Fairytale delicacy resumed on the stage with Brett Murphy’s, MCAS ’18, performance of the Cinderella composition, “Loneliness of Evening.” His glossy vocals showcased the soft dimness of lyrics like “I wake in the loneliness of sunrise / When the deep purple heaven turns blue.”
Lia Tessitore, MCAS ’19, added spunk to her rendition of “Pulled” from The Addams Family, tinkering with the song’s take on the iconic figure of Wednesday Addams struggling with her dark disposition and her conflicting feeling of first love.
And what would a dream role cabaret be without a High School Musical throwback? Elizabeth Koennecke and Anthony Underwood, both MCAS ’19, brought the sugar and spice of a triple-threat performance with their take on “Bop to the Top,” demonstrating their flair for all aspects of theatre through their standout song and dance routine. Mimicking the icons of Ryan and Sharpay Evans, the duet engaged in tango tease, twirling across the stage and using chairs to improvise the flavorful ascent up a ladder.
Samantha Ricci, MCAS ’20, hushed the buzz of the crowd with the somber “On My Own” from Les Miserables, expressing the melancholy of continuously rejected love to the piano accompaniment of Conor Ancharski, MCAS ’20, whose musical talent supported each of the individual performances.
In another performance, Murphy skillfully pivoted the show back to humor with “Summer in Ohio” from The Last Five Years, a comedic song about how desperately a character wishes she was with her partner instead of spending a smoldering summer in the thrill-deprived Ohio.
Traditional musical theatre, however, cannot be forgotten. Reminding us all of our own youth, Anna Waisgerber, MCAS ’19, performed “Maybe” from Annie. Her uncontrived innocence illuminated that of the gentle hush of the number, creating an authentic interpretation of the well-known tune.
Madison Mariani, an editor on The Heights, and Harrison Fish, both CSOM ’20, added punch and hefty vocal capabilities to the rock jam “Take Me or Leave Me” from Rent, conveying the back-and-forth tensions of a romance that eventually culminates in a dramatic yet altogether sassy parting.
Sarah Whalen, MCAS ’18, performed the title song from the classic musical The Light in the Piazza. Her high register fluently accompanied the euphonic lyrics, including “That’s not what I see / I know what the sunlight can be.”
Adriana Castaños, MCAS ’17, and Alexandra La Torre, LSOE ’17, closed the show with a potent bang, singing “A Boy Like That / I Have a Love” from West Side Story with fierce honesty and riveting vocal vigor.
The duets of the performance emerged as definitive moments in this particular cabaret. While individual performances are always an audible and visible pleasure, there is a sort of spark produced when two talents collide and mingle on stage, one that cannot be replicated in any other form of art or expression.
As a whole, this dream cabaret not only entertained, but also reminded us of the power of musical theatre. While differences exist among performers and their interpretations of different pieces, the uniting force is their passion to ignite the stage. Such passion for art can traverse any boundary and serves as the impetus for the Arts Fest in its inspiring entirety.
Featured Image by Celine Limb / Heights Staff