The neon lights are bright on Opera’s ‘Broadway Night’

The lights dimmed as people filed into the New Library Auditorium, anxiously waiting for the performance to begin. Instead of making it a “Blockbuster Night,” students made it a Broadway Night by coming out in droves to watch the Opera Theatre perform popular show tunes on Friday, Saturday and Sunday.

The show drew more than 100 people each night, demonstrating that students just can’t get enough of those good ole’ Broadway tunes.

“Definitely it was a success,” Michelle Hawkins, freshman political science major said. “I really liked the performances.”

The show consisted of members of the College’s Opera Theatre performing several show tunes from hit Broadway musicals.

“Broadway Night” is an annual show, held every Fall semester with songs sung by students and accompanied by Don Tenenblatt, Opera Theatre’s musical director, on the piano.

Not only did the performers showcase their vocal talents, they also demonstrated their comedic skills, which at times had the audience wondering whether or not they were at a comedy show. One of the funniest songs, “The Game,” from the Broadway musical, “Damn Yankees,” served as the closing number, assuring that the show went out with a bang.

The number was performed by eight male students, known as the “Broadway Night Men.” The ensemble dressed like baseball players and sang about

the “seriousness” of the game of baseball. The hilarious thing about this particular performance was that each player described an exciting sexual experience that he would have engaged in had he not realized that such activities would distract him from the game.

Cheering loudly, the crowd embraced the performers with non-stop laughter until their performance came to a conclusion.

Many of the students who attended the show came to support their friends who performed. “I thought it was great,” Marty Rowan, senior psychology major said. “A lot of my friends were in it and they all did a good job.”

Before each performance, the audience was given a brief description of the musical number that was being performed. The songs came from many popular Broadway musicals, including “Les Miserables,” “The Phantom of the Opera,” “My Fair Lady,” “Wicked” and “City of Angels.”

“We enjoy sharing our talents and delighting the audience,” Sarah Cossaboon, senior music major who performed “Vanilla Ice Cream” and “All I Ask of You,” said.

“I love Broadway,” Eden Casalino, freshman music performance major and singer in the show, said. “It’s nice to be able to sing show tunes instead of Mozart and classical music.”

Allison Provaire, senior vocal performance major and president of Opera Theatre, stressed the importance of what the organization provides. “Opera Theatre gives its members the opportunity to perform and expose the campus to different types of music,” Provaire said.

Ryan Haggett, senior elementary education major and a performer in the show, agreed wholeheartedly. During his earlier years at the College, he served on the board of Opera Theatre and always performed in various shows they held. Although he was busy with student-teaching this semester, he still jumped at the opportunity to perform.

“Opera Theatre is the only opportunity, the only venue for musical theatre performers, so (the show) was great,” he said.

This year, Opera Theatre opted to perform in the New Library Auditorium. “The New Library Auditorium is a lot more intimate,” Provaire said.

“The best part of the show was definitely seeing the amount of people that showed up,” Amanda Roggenburg, junior elementary education/Spanish major and member of Opera Theatre, said. “I couldn’t believe we actually needed to bring extra chairs into the auditorium and turn people away at the door.”