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Stars from the Pasquerilla East Musical Company take center stage

Scene Writer | Friday, March 26, 2004

If you went to see West Side Story in February, you already know it’s worth coming to see some of the show’s stars from the Pasquerilla East Musical Company take the stage again this weekend in their yearly musical review entitled “A Night on Broadway.” Natalie Martinez is as adorable and Jenny Radelet is as magnetic in the Revue as they were on the stage of Washington Hall. Matt Curtain and KC Kenney have just as much character.But the best thing about the Revue is its variety of acts and talents. Singers and dancers who haven’t performed in a lead role on campus shine in individual performances of Broadway show tunes. Some of the Company’s newest members steal the spotlight this year in their musical theatre debuts. Keough resident assistant Luke Slonkosky is confident and charming performing “Sixteen Going on Seventeen” with junior Katie Welch in his first vocal performance onstage. Slonkosky has been excited about the chance to sing onstage, practicing his number in his spare time – including in the car while driving to and from Ohio – to get ready for the show despite a busy schedule.”I’ve always loved watching musical theatre…. Some of the cast members encouraged me to audition.” Slonkosky said. “I’m surprised how much more confidence it takes to sing than act [on stage].”Sophomore Eric Buell is quirky and entertaining in his slightly ironic performance of “King Herod’s Song” from Jesus Christ Superstar.”I think it’s wonderfully heretical,” Buell said. “I hope to rattle some theological cages.”Junior Dave Moison chose a striking number for his debut, performing a slightly raucous rendition of “Matchmaker” from Fiddler on the Roof in drag with senior Tim Gibeau. Moison is used to performing with the campus band currently known as For the Love, but wanted to try a different genre of creativity.”I wanted to do something in the show and I didn’t want to do anything serious,” Moison said. “And I’m used to wearing dresses, so I thought I would be more comfortable like that.”The two singers did not meet until the night before auditions, when Gibeau heard his fellow performer propose the idea and jumped on the bandwagon. “I did a big depressing number last year about my father who gambled away all the family’s money and left us,” Gibeau said. “So I wanted to do something more fun.”The show is also a great way for freshmen to continue to perform past high school and find a crowd.Kate VanDamme, the only Saint Mary’s College student in the show, read about PEMCO in The Observer following a fall performances and decided to try out. VanDamme is a strong addition to the girls’ group number “My Strongest Suit” and to the tap dance trio of “Go Into Your Dance” from 42nd Street.”It’s been wonderful, mainly because of the people,” VanDamme said.Freshman Allison Giovinazzo, a strong singer who has been dancing as long as she can remember, played a small part in West Side Story but shines as a soloist in the Revue.”I’ve definitely been able to learn a lot from the upperclassmen,” Giovinazzo said. “It’s like a lot of big brothers and big sisters.”Students chose and prepared their own musical numbers before auditions for the show in late February. Directors Shawna Monson and Cheryl Turski chose about half the acts for the final performance.The show is divided into sections by subject, and the cast ties it all together with movie quotes from such favorites as The Wedding Singer, Finding Nemo and When Harry Met Sally.”The show has gone amazingly,” Monson said. “That is because of the people in the show working so hard on their individual acts.”They get ready themselves. We just take them up to the next level.”Whether they’re old hands or new performers, the singers, dancers and actors in “A Night on Broadway” are talented, full of life and full of character. Most importantly, the show is fun for the cast, crew and audience alike.Perhaps cast member Joe Garlock says it best when he quotes George from My Best Friend’s Wedding mid-show.”Maybe there won’t be marriage, maybe there won’t be sex. But by God, there’ll be dancing!”