By Regan Cole Whimpey
A Romantic Evening of Broadway at the Highland Community Center in Highland was just what my wife and I were looking for this Valentine’s Day. Packed full of romantic ballads from all eras, you will love it too.
Directed by Melissa Brown, this show is full of unique, charming, and powerful voices. You will find classic love songs like, “Can’t Help Falling In Love”, by Elvis Presley to Broadway favorites from musicals like Hairspray, Newsies, and Oklahoma!. As Brown notes in the Director’s note, love is “the realest of all human experiences”. With this thought in mind, A Romantic Evening of Broadway contains songs depicting all the different stages of relationships. The show starts out with a powerful performance of “Can’t Help Falling in Love” (All Shook Up) with various members of the ensemble singing solos and then being joined by the whole ensemble to send the powerful message that love affects all of us if we reach out and accept it. With his silky, smooth voice, Jeffrey Dundas embodies the infatuation of a new relationship with a rendition of “Can’t Take My Eyes Off of You” by Frankie Valli. Abby Smith sings the hilarious “Vanilla Ice Cream” (She Loves Me) and manages to get up to that impressively high note at the end. Her sweet voice matches the sweet song. LoriAnne Poulsen reminds us of the excitement of newly found love in “I Can Hear the Bells” (Hairspray). Joshua Hawkins and Rebecca Lambert sing a heartfelt and tender version of “Something to Believe In” (Newsies) that gives us the hope of true love. Eva Radmall and Jeremy Radmall finish off the charming first act with a fun rendition of “People Will Say We’re In Love” (Oklahoma!). The second act starts with one of the highlights of the night, Brown performs a beautifully emotional rendition of “Still Hurting” (The Last Five Years). A charming group of girls follow Brown’s performance with “Forget About the Boy” (Thoroughly Modern Millie). Crystal Schultz stomps on stage with a bitterness that is palpable for the boy who was dumb enough to mess with her. Her confidence and determination are evident. Kerilyn Johnson storms the stage with an utterly charming version of “So Long, Dearie” (Hello Dolly) and completely captures the audience with her voice and acting ability. Another highlight of the night is Brookelynn Harris singing “Stars and the Moon” (Songs for a New World). Harris not only sang the song perfectly, but her performance was most believable as well. Suzy Castleton shares her incredible talent singing “Right Hand Man” (Something Rotten). Her sincerity and playfulness are contagious and absolutely engrossing.
Finally, just before the beautiful final number, all couples in the audience are invited up on the stage to enjoy a slow dance to Hawkins singing “She’s Got a Way” by Billy Joel. My wife and I heeded the call. It was a lovely experience that took both of us back 13 years ago when we shared our first dance as a married couple. Hawkins’ voice was perfect for the Billy Joel cover with its soothing sound and sincere delivery. The production ends with a lesser known number from the Off-Broadway production of I Love You Because with the song of the same name. Hawkins and Lambert take the stage again to sing a lovely duet before the rest of the cast joins them onstage to give the message to celebrate the person you love’s short-comings as well as their strengths.
This production was fun, it was charming, it was romantic, and it was real. It was clear from the very beginning that these performers worked incredibly hard to get this show ready to perform. Each and every person that took the stage did so out of the pure joy that performing brings to audiences and performers everywhere. If you are looking for a fun, low-key, romantic date this week, go and see this wonderful show.
Highland City Arts Council presents A Romantic Evening of Broadway
Highland City Community Center, upper level, 5378 W 10400 N, Highland, UT 84003
February 9-10, 12, 2018 7:00 PM
Tickets: $8 adults, $5 for students and seniors
Highland City Arts Council Facebook Page https://www.facebook.com/highlandcityartscounsel/
A Romantic Evening of Broadway Facebook Event https://www.facebook.com/events/1176114952524743/