photo by Brian Guilliaux
Chamberlain Performing Arts, accompanied by a cast of talented guest performers, brought back Broadway classics with Celebrate Broadway 2! Legs were flyin'! Hair was flippin'! Hands were extra jazzy! And Kathy Chamberlain's dancers are always, always smiling. Pianist Arlesia Grace McGowan, lovely in her blue formal gown, warmed the audience up with her well-played Overture. Then the curtain parted to a sea of sprawling dancers in brightly colored leotards ready to reenact "I Hope I Get It" from A Chorus Line. The Lion King was a tribal adventure lead by the powerhouse guest vocalist, Candice Woods, who also blew everyone away with "Once Upon a Time" from Brooklyn.
Other guest singers included Tyson Heaton and Jake Nelson taking on Les Miserables and Sweeney Todd, respectively. Heaton, Nelson, and David Lamoureux, the show's charismatic emcee, became an audience favorite with "There is Nothing Like a Dame" from South Pacific. Jokester Heaton dressed in a blonde wig, hula skirt, and coconut bra. Even the stuffiest of patrons couldn't help but laugh. The red-headed and red-lipped Sarah Killian was charming in "It Might As Well Be Spring" from State Fair. Feisty guest artist Brittany Werthmann was energy in heels, rocking a dance solo in "Uptown Girl" from Movin' Out, performed to the song by Billy Joel. I'd seen Werthmann before in SMU's Brown Bag Series, and she is a master of jazz dance, nailing Fosse choreography with ease as was seen in "I Gotcha".
A personal favorite was The Light in the Piazza. CPA dancers fluttered en pointe in floral dresses and were the epitome of grace and femininity. Guest singer Stephanie Jenkins sang alongside the ladies. Of course, a Broadway revue would not be complete without The Phantom of the Opera. "Masquerade" showcased a gang of scarily beautiful masked dancers, and Lamoureux once again drew us in with his moving rendition of "The Music of the Night". The finale included "Sit Down You're Rocking the Boat" from Guys and Dolls, and the dazzling "One" from A Chorus Line, which brought the house down with sparkling gold top hats and high kicks that didn't end.
Kathy Chamberlain did again. I can't wait for Celebrate Broadway 3...