Love has many facets. Despite this, Off-Broadway On Campus (OBOC) performed its spring show “All You Need is Love!” in a cohesive manner last Friday in Strong.
OBOC is a one-of-a-kind musical theater group at UR. It’s comprised of approximately 50 members. Except for solo performances, there is no audition process for joining the group.
“[It’s] one of those clubs that you can definitely be a part of, no matter what your background or experience is,” junior and incoming-Business Manager of OBOC Alexander Strand said.
Members can choose how involved they are, volunteering for as many or as few numbers they wish.
“It’s really flexible since we know all students have such crazy schedules,” freshman and incoming-Music Director Seth Dalton said.
The group encourages the students to take responsibility. All the skits are written and directed by the members themselves. Members describe the group as more familial than professional; OBOC requires members spend most of their free time with one another in rehearsals and fundraising.
“OBOC has provided a place for me to go at the end of the day (literally, because our rehearsals are really late),” said sophomore and incoming-President Alana McGovern in an email. “[OBOC is] where I feel loved, supported, and driven to be the best person I can be.”
“All You Need is Love!” contained a variety of songs from musicals inspired by the joys of infatuation and romance. The skits performed in each song were quite different from their original enactment, with their own unique UR touch.
For example, the group’s performance of “Kiss the Girl” from the musical “The Little Mermaid” put a comical spin on the famous first-kiss scene. Rather than re-enacting the Disney movie, where Ariel and Prince Eric are encouraged by animated fish to kiss, OBOC instead chose quite a contrasting scenario with a modern day couple sitting on a couch put some “Netflix and Chill” vibes on the situation.
The comical act ended with the woman frozen and the baffled guy asking for help.
Another witty song was “Gay or European” from “Legally Blonde.” A girl is interested in a guy while everyone tries to figure out whether he is gay or a metrosexual European.
The audience cheered with applause for each song, and laughter echoed throughout the auditorium in response to the comical twists placed on certain numbers.
As in love though, there were a couple of bittersweet moments too.
Freshman Mary Potash’s soulful singing of “You Love Who You Love” from “Bonnie and Clyde” brought a viable reaction from the audience.
“I can’t particularly relate myself to the song; my guy is definitely not even close to the sort of troublemaker described in the lyrics,” Potash said. “But I think everyone’s had some sort of experience having feelings for someone they think they shouldn’t.”
The OBOC team started preparing for this show since end of last semester.
OBOC’s impressive performance was juxtaposed by that of the event support. Microphones were present above the performers on stage, but the chorus of many songs went absent in the ears of the audience. Even for lead vocalists who had their own microphones, their voices were lost while other lead vocalist’s voices were too loud.
In spite of these obstacles, “All You Need is Love” visibly resonated with members of the crowd as the last song ended and audience members stood up to cheer for the entertaining, relatable performance.