To be reminded of the multitude of great musicals produced by The Theatre Group at SBCC, as audiences were by Here We Go Again!, was to revisit the wide range of the American musical theater tradition. With Paul Canter and Tiffany Story playing two musical theater nerds who won a trivia contest about the company, the cast and crew delivered 20 great numbers that left the audience wishing for more.
“Comedy Tonight” from A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum is exactly the kind of can’t-fail opener that this festive occasion called for, and the cast delivered it with style. The second number, “I Could Have Danced All Night” from My Fair Lady, kept a relatively large ensemble on the stage — a welcome sight after so many months without such unmasked, in-person spectacles.
From the confident way that Ben Watkins and Bridget DeVine handled the intricate lunacy of “You’re the Top” to the fluid and engaging harmony work of Nick Ehlen, Eddie O’Toole, and Levi R. Smylie on “Fugue for Tinhorns” from Guys and Dolls, the vocals were as sharp and well-rehearsed as the choreography. Allison Sugden did a terrific turn with “She Used to Be Mine” from Waitress, in the process showing just how far the American musical has traveled in the decades between Cole Porter and Sara Bareilles. Angela Delgado Zevallos and Daniel Sabraw sang and danced simultaneously throughout the challenging number “Tango: Maureen” from Rent.
Vivian Leilani Shay showed us all that, in addition to being a dazzling dancer, she can deliver a snappy Broadway lyric, as she did on “A Little Brains, A Little Talent,” the Gwen Verdon showcase from Damn Yankees. Three consecutive songs from what many consider to be the greatest of all musicals, Oklahoma, gave the conclusion a unity that served the entire evening’s premise well. Congratulations on 75 years, TGSBCC!
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