As the house lights dimmed before Off Broadway On Campus’s fall revue on Nov. 20, I made the last few adjustments to my camera. The stage lights came up and the show began with a classic, “A Lot of Livin’ to Do,” from Bye, Bye Birdie. The whole cast drew in the crowd as they danced and sang in this first number.
I moved down front to take some close-up shots of the featured performers Ben Thornburn, Jonathan Vitale, Lydia Dewey and Sara Mateer.
Unfortunately for me, Strong Auditorium was too packed to get right down in front to take pictures. I didn’t want to block anyone’s view, so I returned to my tripod in the back row. The number concluded with thunderous applause. I knew at this point the show was worth staying for, and I became grateful that I had brought all of my compact flash cards with me.
The program continued with “What You Own” from Rent and “Together We Go” from Gypsy. The latter featured the newest members of OBOC. They certainly proved their worth to the veterans as they belted out the upbeat melody. The crowd congratulated their talent with applause and hollers.
The lights went out except for just the two spots. Rachel Ehrhardt and Erin Sigmund showed off their talent as they sung “Hey There” from The Pajama Game. The lights came back up and the whole cast returned to sing “For Now” from Avenue Q. The stage cleared out again as Lydia Dewey and Sarah Lazer shared the stage for “In His Eyes” from Jekyll and Hyde.
Next was the crowd pleaser “Sit Down, You’re Rockin’ the Boat” from Guys and Dolls. Jonathan Vitale’s powerful voice was perfectly matched for the part of Nicely-Nicely. He sung about that dream like he had dreamt it himself.
Things calmed down a bit as Robert Rice and Rachel Morgan-Wall took the stage for their duet, “Expose” from Zombie Prom. I especially enjoyed snapping shots of Robert and Rachel as they interacted comically throughout the song.
I mounted a wide-angle lens on my camera and ran down in front as Act I concluded with “One Day More” from Les Misrables. The lined up across the front of the stage.
I was able to capture the dramatic expressions and wonderful costumes from my angle. The crowd applauded, the curtain fell and I found myself humming show tunes all through intermission.
As Act II two started, I decided to shoot from the balcony with my telephoto lens. The entire cast took the stage. Jonathan Vitale was featured again along with Julie Lamb and Rachel Ehrhardt in the humorous “The Both Reached for the Gun” from Chicago.
The show continued with the favorites “The Stars and the Moon” sang by Carolyn Spencer and “Forget About the Boy” featuring Kristen Pasquerella. Next the guys got to shine in the comic classic “Officer Krupke” from West Side Story.
When the guys finished up with their antics, Heather Good and Erin Sigmund took the stage to sing “For Good” from Wicked. Next was “Morning Glow” from Pippin.
My favorite song of the night was “Therapy” from Tick, Tick Boom. It featured couples from the cast who portrayed young couples. They were in love but have communication issues, which they illustrated though playful quarrels.
During the scene change, one of the accompanists, Jacob Grantier, got to show off his skills on piano with David Friedman on drums. As these two pounded out the vamp, the crowd began to clap along.
Jonathan Vitale was featured again along with Matt Bonaccorso in “Lily’s Eyes” from The Secret Garden.
The encore showcased “Why We Tell the Story” from Once on the Island. It was a fitting ending to a wonderful show. Time will tell if OBOC can outdo themselves for their spring show as well.
Slominski can be reached at email@example.com.