Behind the songs of Broadway Revue

From left to right: Performers Monty Larcom, Justin Marrier, Aaron Lucas, Ron Gamache, Caleb Carr, Andrew Nielson and Matthew Rich act out a courtroom scene for the song “Gee, Officer Krupke” in this year’s Broadway Revue. Photo by Dianna Wood

By Heather Mead

Last weekend, Broadway musicals came to ONU for a night of tears, smiles and laughter during the annual Broadway Revue.

This year, the musicals ranged from well-known hits such as “West Side Story” and “Footloose” to less popular shows such as “The Drowsy Chaperone” and “Urine Town.” Here is a little bit about the some of the shows that were featured.

“The Drowsy Chaperone” is about Janet, the lead character, and Olivia, a girl who wants to be just like Janet.

“Janet doesn’t want to be a star, but [she goes along with the paparazzi’s attention anyways],” senior Lauren Brennan said. “There’s a scene where paparazzi try taking pictures of her and she poses [despite her displeasure].”

Broadway Revue also featured the song “We Both Reached for the Gun” from “Chicago,” a musical with a similar storyline. Roxie Hart, one of the main characters of “Chicago,” wants to be a celebrity.

“Roxie ends up murdering a guy who’s supposed to make her a star,” Brennan said.

Another important character, Velma Kelly, a lead actress and singer, does a Vaudeville act with her sister. After finding her sister and her husband in bed together, she kills both of them and is thrown into jail.

and Velma meet in jail, where they compete for fame and for a “not guilty” verdict.

Broadway Revue also showcased the musical “Urinetown,” which focuses on surviving, with the song “Don’t Be the Bunny.”

The musical takes place in the future, in a Gotham-like city, where there is a poor economy and a limited amount of water. The citizens are charged to use the bathroom, and if they choose to use other locations to save money, the cops take them to Urinetown. In this town, people are taken to the top of a building and pushed to their deaths.

“In the song, the owner of the water company is singing to his daughter that poor people aren’t important and are like bunnies. If you kill them, they don’t matter,” said Emily Dillard, student director.

Dr. Neal Woodruff, a music professor, performed the song at Broadway Revue. He was the only faculty member to perform this year.

“The song is a fanciful look of oppressive systems in the world,” Woodruff said. “[Because it is] a comedy, the song proves a point with the absurdity in oppressive systems.”

Broadway review also featured, “There’s A Fine, Fine Line,” from “Avenue Q.”

Dillard described Avenue Q as an adult version of Sesame Street.

“The song we picked is very heartfelt,” Dillard said. “Kate Monster falls in love with a guy at work who takes her on a date. Then he leaves her.”

The song helps Kate Monster realize life gets better and that he was just one guy. She also realizes she will find someone better in time.

“Skid Row” from “Little Shop of Horrors,” also graced Kresge’s stage.

“In ‘Little Shop of Horrors,’ Seymour Krelborn who is down on his luck and is an orphan who works in a flower shop,” said Dillard. “He’s a geek who can’t get anything right.”

In the beginning of the play, this flower shop begins to lose money. Then one day, Seymour finds an exotic plant that turns out to be a human-eating alien.

“The song is a big city scene where he wants to get out of Skid Row,” Dillard said. “He doesn’t want to live down town and work in the flower shop.”

The finale of Broadway Revue, “The Best of Times,” reminds listeners to live in the moment.

“The best of times is now, not a forgotten yesterday,” Dillard said. “The best of times will always be in this moment.”

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