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PEMCo.’s Revue Packed with Talent

Observer Scene | Friday, April 18, 2008

The theme of this year’s PEMCo. Revue – “Why We Tell the Story” – comes from a song from the musical “Once on This Island,” which fits, considering that the Pasquerilla East Musical Company’s production offers a once-in-a-semester chance to take in some show tunes.

As the second of PEMCo.’s two annual shows, the Revue offers a slate of musical numbers from musicals, including all manner of solos, duets, ballads, comic songs and even large scale dance numbers.

“It’s a series of songs from a variety of musicals showing all different characters and ranges of emotion,” producer Connor Nowalk said. “The performers choose the numbers that they would like to be in the show, and it’s up to the director to not only choose the best numbers, but to choose the numbers which will fit together as a cohesive whole loosely joined by a common theme of the show.”

Revue performers will belt out some fan-favorite show tunes, including “Good Morning” from Singin’ in the Rain, “Nicest Kids In Town” from Hairspray, “For Now” from Avenue Q and of course, “Why We Tell the Story” from Once on This Island to close the show.

Apart from the name-brand numbers, Nowalk’s co-producer Mary Elizabeth McLaughlin also promises a variety of songs from several lesser-known musicals.

“The Revue provides a very nice variety of Broadway show tunes – there is something for everyone,” she said. “A common thread in a good portion of the songs is that they will make you laugh until you cry. This is a very funny show. Still, the numbers that aren’t comedic will give you chills. I think the show this year provides a really nice balance.”

McLaughlin also promised a repeat performance from what she terms ‘Notre Dame’s favorite boy band,’ the Altar Boyz, who will perform “Church Rules.”

“The Revue is at its very core a way for PEMCo. to reach out to the campus and share what we love about musical theatre,” McLaughlin said. “I think the song does a really nice job explaining why we do what we do. As I said before, the show encompasses so many different emotions, and it explains that we have found a way, through song, to show this to people.”

McLaughlin said the most challenging part of putting on the production wasn’t recruiting talent to the stage, but rather cutting down the number of acts to a manageable amount. “We have so many incredibly gifted people on this campus, and it’s very difficult to keep a show down to 20-25 numbers when you’re so inspired by everything you see. Our director, Martha Calcutt, has done such an amazing job putting together just a phenomenal show. I guess in that sense, the challenge became the reward when we saw the show come together so beautifully. These kids just work so well together. I could watch the Revue over and over and over again.”

Contact Tae Andrews at tandrew1@nd.edu.