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PEMCo to perform annual revue ‘Raise a Little Hell’

| Thursday, April 12, 2018

This weekend, the Pasquerilla East Musical Company (PEMCo) will be hosting its annual revue. The theme of this year’s revue, directed by sophomore Mary Hope Clark, is “Raise a Little Hell.”

“I like to describe it as songs of villainy, sin, revolution and chaos,” Clark said. “A lot of people in musical theater will always be like, ‘Oh the villain has the best songs,’ so I thought, ‘Alright, let’s put them together. Let’s make it fun.’”

Photo courtesy of Clare Strickland

Members of the Pasquerilla East Musical Company prepare for the debut of their upcoming revue, “Raise a Little Hell.” The show will feature songs from a variety of musicals, including “Wicked,” “Beauty and the Beast,” “Hamilton” and ”Chicago.”

Clark said the show features 20 cast members and 22 songs that come from musicals such as “Les Miserables,” “Wicked,” “In the Heights,” “Beauty and the Beast” and “Chicago.”

“That’s what so great about a revue is that we can do songs from shows that we normally wouldn’t be able to put on, like shows like ‘Wicked’ and ‘Hamilton’ that are still performing,” PEMCo executive producer and junior Clare Strickland said.

Clark said she was selected as the revue’s director two weeks before spring break, and auditions were held the following weekend.

“When you apply to be a director, you apply with ideas for different themes you’d like to do,” she said. “I went a little hard. I sent in six single-spaced pages and 3,000 words about why I wanted to do this revue. I basically outlined I think everything I wanted to do.”

Strickland said the theme idea is one of the reasons Clark was chosen as director.

“We don’t necessarily pick the theme based off the director, but Mary Hope had a very clear vision and that’s one of the things we loved about her as a director choice,” she said.

Clark said she had a rough list of songs before the auditions, but she also selected songs that cast members used in their auditions.

“When people audition, they bring in songs that they think would fit the theme,” she said. “ … It’s a working process, and I think that really makes it special because it’s a lot of input into the theme and choosing what stories we want to tell.”

Clark has chosen to donate all the proceeds from the show to the Felician Franciscan Sisters Haiti Mission. She said she chose the charity because of a nun she met from her home diocese.

“She’s the most rocking nun I’ve ever met in my life,” she said. “She goes with a guitar everywhere. After the earthquake in Haiti, she went down with a couple other nuns from her order, and they’ve just been down there every since just doing wonderful work. Everywhere they go, they’re always doing great work, but they’re spreading music with that. They’re giving shelter, they’re giving aid, but they’re also bringing joy and God’s word through music.”

Besides the charitable component, Strickland said people should come to the show because it will be a fun experience.

“The core of it is it enjoyable to watch,” she said. “ … It’s really a full-on performance, and you’re watching these actors who are enjoying it just as much as you will be. It’s for a great cause, but it’s a very well-done show.”

Clark said she is most looking forward to seeing the audience’s reaction to the show.

“It’s not your typical love song, happy musical ballad,” she said. “We’re showing more of the darker side of Broadway and really embracing that because it is this wonderful, wonderful side that doesn’t always get highlighted because there’s just so many good things about musicals that sometimes a lot of the good things can be overshadowed by others. I really want to let the villainy shine a little bit.”

Performances will be in Washington Hall Lab Theater Thursday and Friday nights at 7 p.m. and Saturday at 4:30 p.m.

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About Alexandra Muck

Alexandra Muck is a Notre Dame sophomore majoring in business and economics. Originally from Dallas, she currently lives in Howard Hall.

Contact Alexandra