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Student singers shine in ‘A Night on Broadway’

Maria Smith | Thursday, April 14, 2005

Over the past three years, the Pasquerilla East Musical Company’s Musical Revue, entitled “A Night on Broadway,” has become something to look forward to for many students on campus.The first Musical Revue was held when current seniors were freshmen, and as the students have aged the Revue has also matured. Attendance has increased steadily as the Revue has become a more recognizable part of campus life. The first Revue didn’t even sell out its seats for two nights, but this year, the Company has had to add an extra performance to meet demand.In the past, the Revue has featured many of the most talented performers on campus and has given students a chance to show off their dancing, singing and acting skills. This year is no different – the Revue showcases much of the talent the campus has to offer.This year’s Revue, like those of the past three years, is also set up in themed segments, which are introduced with appropriate quotes from various shows. However, this year’s show focuses more on solos and serious performances than the past two years. The change has brought some strengths, and also a few weaknesses, to this year’s performance.The vocal talent in this year’s show is particularly strong. Sophomore Will McAuliffe and sophomore Tim Masterton, who played a lead role in the Company’s performance of “Grand Hotel” earlier this spring, are both impressive singers who will hopefully continue to perform with the Company for the next two years. Seniors Matt Patricoski and Tom Anthony and Saint Mary’s student Megan Welsch perform “Louder Than Words” from “tick, tick … BOOM!” with a powerful blend of very powerful voices.Several performers also have excellent character voices. Freshman Kathleen Sullivan is cute and quirky performing “Summer in Ohio” from “The Last Five Years,” and freshman Robert DeBroeck’s strong bass is perfect for “C’est Moi” from “Camelot.”However, a good show needs to balance sentiment with some shtick, and this year’s show just doesn’t have the great shtick that its predecessors did.That doesn’t mean there isn’t any joking around. “We Both Reached For the Gun” from “Chicago,” performed by Joe Garlock, Jacqui Acuna and four other cast members, stands out as the number with the most style. “Is You Is, Or Is You Ain’t” from “Five Guys Named Moe” is performed by six guys from the cast, none of whom are named Moe, and the song certainly has some character.Dance numbers are always a high point of the show. “You Can’t Stop the Beat” from “Hairspray” and “Forget About the Boy” from “Thoroughly Modern Millie,” the major dance numbers from this year’s dance performance, are certainly entertaining. In past years dance was a more prominent part of the show, and a few more of this type of number would help to break up the pace of the performance.This year’s Musical Revue marks the end of several careers in Notre Dame musical theater. Seniors Ramin Saghafi, Brian Grundy and Matt Curtin, as well as Patricoski and Anthony, have been institutions of the Company for four years. All have not only performed in the shows but also kept them running. Curtin is the director for this year’s Revue, Grundy directed the show during his sophomore year, and Patricoski and Anthony produced the show during their junior year. Their graduation will be a notable loss to the PEMCo. stage.The opening number for the 2001 Musical Revue was “Heart and Music” from “A New Brain.” “I Feel So Much Spring,” this year’s closing number, is also from “A New Brain,” and provides a nice closing point for the seniors’ Notre Dame careers.What will the alumni do with themselves after leaving the Company behind?”I hope we’ll all find some way to keep performing,” Anthony said.”Singing telegrams,” Saghafi suggested.On the other hand, there are the alumni who never left. Notre Dame students may graduate, but some of them never leave, and the Musical Revue seems to have its own hold on its graduates. This year’s show features a performance of “I Wish I Could Go Back to College” from “Avenue Q,” performed by eight PEMCo. Alumni, including former Musical Revue director Shawna Monson and the veritable Mr. PEMCo. Tommy Curtin, who performed with the Company for five years before graduating and enrolling in Notre Dame Law School. All the choreography in the number is taken from past performances.”I always listened to that song and got sad,” said Monson, who organized the alumni performance. “Then I thought, there are so many alumni around, I should try to put together a number. Everyone except one person I emailed was excited about it.””It’s great, now that I’ve graduated my little brother gets to boss me around,” said Tommy Curtin, who is also the older brother of Matt Curtin.If the younger members of the Company keep up the trend, PEMCo. will continue to produce loyal alumni for years. With any luck, the Musical Revue will also remain a strong tradition.”This show is great because unlike the larger shows, you can be in it and don’t have to commit your life to it,” Matt Curtin said. “My goal was to showcase a lot of talent, and that’s what this show does.”

“A Night on Broadway” will be performed Thursday, Friday and Saturday at 8 p.m. in the LaFortune Ballroom. Tickets cost $5 for students and $6 for general admission and are available at the LaFortune Box Office and at the door.