Karen Fu, Contributing Photographer

Attending the Off-Broadway On Campus (OBOC) musical theater revue is always a refreshing change. In our UR bubble, we are often surrounded with popular covers by a cappella groups and classical music down the road at Eastman, but every once in a while, we need to sit back and listen to some showtunes. This year’s revue, “OBOCalypse,” performed on Friday, Nov. 9 in Strong Auditorium, consisted of a wide variety of music, from shows currently playing on Broadway to the absolute classics — even some Disney songs were thrown in to the mix. The incredible talent of the new members was evident, and each was given the opportunity to shine —without the new member (newbie) number, “It Sucks to Be Me” from “Avenue Q,” it would have been nearly impossible to distinguish the first semester students from the old-timers.

Every number was filled with energy, but some songs and individual performances shone brighter than the rest. The all-girls’ number, always a hit at the show, was the fun and up-beat “My Strongest Suit,” taken from a lesser-known musical “Aida.” Freshman Yang Yang stood out with her strong voice and ability to command the stage.

Too often it is easy to get caught up trying to make a number visually exciting and as unique as possible, but one of the best songs was in fact one of the simplest. “Song of Purple Summer” from “Spring Awakening,” with uncomplicated choreography and a focus on perfecting harmonies, was a delight to the ears. There were no distractions to take away from the singing, making the group performance even stronger. After this stunning opener to the second act, the great performances kept on coming. The entertainment factor increased immensely during “But Mr. Adams” from “1776,” a song recreating the founding fathers arguing about who would write the Declaration of Independence. The five boys in the number worked as a cohesive unit, bringing out the hilarity in the situation, and their costumes  of large jackets, frilly shirts, and boots were certainly spot on.

Three songs in “OBOCalypse” without a doubt stole the show. The first, “Belle” from “Beauty and the Beast,” owes its success to sophomore Madeline Kushner, who embraced the character of Belle to the fullest. Not only did she look the part, but her voice and personality were more than a perfect fit. As a new member, spectacular performances can be expected from her in future shows. The first act was best remembered for the duet from “Les Miserables,” “A Little Fall of Rain,” performed by sophomores Caity Rogers and Kyle Critelli. They silenced the crowd with their incredible blend of voices and raw emotion, never once forgetting the theme of the song.

Despite these stunning performances, the best number was still to come. The saying “save the best for last” could not be more fitting for this performance. “You’ll Be In My Heart” from “Tarzan,” performed by seniors Jarred Lentine and Michael Moll, junior Brynn Wilkins and sophomore Matthew Hershfield, was the show stopper. With Lentine and Hershfield’s blend of voices in the background, the audience was able to focus on Moll and Wilkins’ jaw-dropping dance performance.

Between the lifts and dazzling ballet, it was impossible to take your eyes off of the stage. Moll did a wonderful job highlighting Wilkins, whose performance was beyond words. If you did not attend this show, you certainly missed out. Come on — with a show ending with a boy in a purple prom dress and swanky, 4-inch heels, how could it have been anything other than brilliant?

Fox is a member of the class of 2013.



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