TMT brings Broadway to campus

Fanelli finds ‘Your Daddy’s Son’ empowering. (Horacio Hernandez / Staff Photographer)
Fanelli finds ‘Your Daddy’s Son’ empowering. (Horacio Hernandez / Staff Photographer)

By Lily Firth
Reviews Editor

Students eagerly packed the Library Auditorium to experience TCNJ Musical Theatre’s annual Broadway night on Friday, Dec. 1.

Each performer brought their own musical style, singing their hearts out to their favorite Broadway pieces to showcase their voices and talents. TMT included a variety of songs: some theatrical, some lighthearted and upbeat, some slow and romantic.

Every song was memorable in its own way — whether it tugged at the audience’s heart strings or carried a powerful message. With harmonic duets, dancing and jazz hands, and some pure comedic entertainment.

The performers had an ear for fully engaging the audience. The tunes especially conveyed relatable messages about crushing heartbreak, flourishing romance and forming friendships. Whether the piece was about falling for the wrong guy or when a crush loves someone else, each of the acts had the audience nodding along to messages that pertain to their everyday lives.

Each singer added their own voice to pieces from various Broadway musicals, including Wicked, Phantom of the Opera, Rent, Hamilton and Les Misérables, adding talent and creativity that made their renditions stand out from the original counterparts.

Alyssa Fanelli, a junior secondary education and math dual major, explained why she picked her song.

“I wanted to do something different from my usual repertoire,” Fanelli said. “I usually always go for the humorous approach, but the song I chose (Your Daddy’s Son because it) is emotional. It’s about a woman murdering her own husband! But honestly, I weirdly think it’s empowering, in a way. I was excited to sing it — it was definitely the hardest piece I’ve ever done.”

Audience members particularly appreciated songs that had them laughing out loud in their seats.

“I have to say, the BFF one in the Spongebob Musical was my favorite,” said Jamie Pillion, a junior elementary education and English double major. “I was laughing the entire time — both of the performers were so lively and comical as they danced around stage with confidence.”

Emma Pranschke, a junior psychology major, disagreed with Pillion, and argued that the emotional pieces were more impactful.

“No!” Pranschke said. “The best one had to be ‘All I Ask of You.’ They way the performers decided not to sing but just play their violin and piano – I was breathless! They were amazing. I think I teared up.”