Belmont University musical theater will bring the 1940s to life with an adaptation of the popular musical “On the Town,” opening Friday night.
“On the Town” is a spectacle of a show that calls back to the golden age of musicals. The dance numbers are larger than life, and the cast has energy to spare.
Quentin Craig, the show’s leading man, carries the show. His character, Gabey — played by Gene Kelly in the feature film adaptation — is one of the more complex figures in the show, but Craig tackles it with charisma.
The cast, directed by David Shamburger, is mostly made up of senior musical theatre majors, but some younger students have also been given the opportunity to perform, like freshman Tori Kocher.
“I’m so, so, so excited to be in this show, especially as a freshman. I’m shocked, genuinely. I double with a senior, and it’s crazy to be able to learn from her,” said Kocher.
Bobby Hogan and Lucas Beckett are hysterical in the number “Ya Got Me.” Their exuberance carries throughout the show.
“On The Town’s” ensemble delivers particularly strong performances, especially when it comes to the show’s numerous dance numbers, like the beautifully performed “Times Square Ballet.”
“Watch the ensemble members during any kind of club scene or the subway scenes. There are so many funny things going on. There are things that I hear when I’m on stage, and I have to hold back tears from the laughter,” said Kocher.
Natalie Ragazzo and Abby Docherty also give heartfelt and compelling performances as Hildy and Claire in the song “Some Other Time.”
Although the musical is set in the 1940s, its themes are very modern. Maddie Palmaccio, who doubles with Ragazzo as Hildy, wants to make sure students don’t discredit the show as old-fashioned.
“When you think of a 1940s show, you usually think they’re kind of stuffy or, I hate to say boring, but sometimes people think that! This show isn’t what you expect. It’s just out of the box, and there are a lot of relatable, kooky characters.” said Palmaccio.
“On The Town” will open Friday and close Sunday, March 25. All shows are free to students and count for convocation credit. Tickets can be reserved here.
Article and photos by Liz Gresser