Who says you have to go to New York City to catch a heart throbbing, exhilarating and spectacular Broadway-style musical performance? UR’s own musical theatre performance group, Off Broadway On Campus, has mesmerized audiences since its inception in 1998.
OBOC is one of the largest performing groups on campus; the group boasts 60 vivacious members who are unified by their commitment to deliver an unparalleled show. The completely student-run group organizes one show each semester. In addition, it holds smaller performances in the Rochester community throughout the year. Each group member has the responsibility of directing, choreographing and articulately designing the sets and costumes for each particular song.
OBOC Publicity Director and junior Dan Allan jokingly described this year’s freshmen members as they faced the daunting task of dressing up as orphans to perform “Hard Knock Life” from the musical, “Annie.” In the past, freshmen have also performed “Getting to Know You” from “The King and I.” As a result, newer members find themselves moving up along the hierarchy as they develop more experience on stage.
Regardless of their roles, whether a prince or a peasant, all performers agree that gracing the stage is an experience that is both everlasting and fundamentally rewarding.
OBOC delivered a performance spiced with wit, humor and zeal on Saturday, Nov. 18. The show, “The Bright Side of Life,” mixed different songs from a diverse array of musicals, which included a compilation of about 18 upbeat songs from popular musicals such as “Guys & Dolls,” “South Pacific,” “Songs for a New World” and “I Love You, You’re Perfect, Now Change.” The group also performed “Edges,” “Monty Python’s Spamalot” and “The Wedding Singer.”
The performance consisted of two acts. Act I began with “The Circle of Life” from “The Lion King” and ended with “Always Look on the Bright Side of Life” from Spamalot. “Everybody Ought to Have a Maid” from “A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum” accurately portrayed the lives of four young men who have nothing but bed sheets to wear because they are in dire need of a maid. “Be My Friend” from “Edges” humorously depicted the desperation that many college students display as they add unknown people to their list of friends on the popular social networking Web site Facebook.
Act II began with “Master of the House” from “Les Miserables” and featured senior Tim Bayer and freshman Brittany Crowley. The performers spiced things up as they dressed up in a rather seductive manner for their presentation of “Bring on the Men” from “Jekyll & Hyde.” “Single Man Drought” from “I Love You, You’re Perfect, Now Change” was another comedic song that dealt largely with women who are fed up with tedious men who talk too much.
The night ended with “It’s Your Wedding Day” from “The Wedding Singer.” The stunning outfits glamorously complemented each of the songs that were performed.
The OBOC performers truly epitomize what a musical theatre performance group should be. By uniquely coupling comedy with the ups and downs of life, the performers resembled the charismatic nature of a Broadway musical.
Through their harmonious vocals and notable costumes, the performers captivated the audience members and delivered an unparalleled performance.
Tase is a member of the class of 2010.