Published on April 23rd, 2012 | by Rebecca Long0
Broadway in Oxford: Ole Miss Theatre
Ole Miss Theatre presents the musical revue Showstoppers: Backstage Broadway. The revue opens Wednesday, April 25 at 7:30 pm with additional performances Thursday and Friday, April 26 – 27 at 7:30 p.m. and Sunday, April 29 at 2 pm in Fulton Chapel. The performance will feature Ole Miss students singing and dancing to Broadway tunes as the show opens the curtain on the life of the performer. There will be an opening night reception Wednesday, April 25, immediately following the performance.
Showstoppers, in its many variations, has been performed at Ole Miss Theatre for almost 30 years. Not only does it feature student singers and dancers, but also student designers and choreographers.
René Pulliam, the faculty member heading up this cast, enjoys the variety the show provides. “It’s great working within so many genres in a single production,” she says, “mounting numbers from the age of Musical Comedy, the Golden Age of Musicals, concept musicals, and contemporary pieces.”
With songs from 15 musicals being performed, there is something in the show for everyone. In the first act, musicals will be showcased that are about the life of the performer, such as A Chorus Line, Gypsy, Kiss Me Kate, Chicago, Singing in the Rain, and Curtains. The second act has famous numbers from productions like Annie Get Your Gun and Hairspray.
When asked about the process of choosing the musical numbers, Professor Pulliam said, “I allow the senior musical theatre students to pick a theme – this year the theme is ‘Backstage Broadway’. With me, the group created a list of possible songs and dances that celebrated the life of the performer.” She added, “I then chose the numbers that created the widest variety in style to keep the experience of the performers as broad as possible.”
The performers spend a lot of time perfecting their numbers, as Professor Pulliam explains, “We rehearse between four and six hours a week for the first part of the semester, working both music and choreography.” She adds, “During the last three weeks prior to opening the show, we move into evening rehearsals, upping the weekly rehearsal time to 15-20 hours.”
This type of revue gives Ole Miss Musical Theatre students a broad understanding of various styles. And in return, it gives the Oxford community a great show!
This is a great opportunity for the University of Mississippi campus and the Oxford community to see musical theatre performed, designed, and choreographed by Ole Miss students and faculty. Please join us for this exciting event!
Contact the UM Box Office for tickets at (662) 915-7411.
This article was published in The Local Voice #154 (April 19-May 3, 2012)…Click here to download the PDF of issue #154.