Curtain Call, the University of Lynchburg’s musical theatre ensemble, will perform at 7:30 p.m. Friday and Saturday, March 29 and 30, in the Dillard Fine Arts Center Theatre. Tickets are $5 and available via Etix. Due to mature themes, the show is not recommended for children.
Curtain Call Cabaret includes musical numbers from some of the hottest Broadway plays and films, including Spamalot, Les Miserables, The Greatest Showman, and others. The songs are performed in cabaret or revue style. “In a cabaret style, each song becomes its own little play, with a beginning and middle and end to it,” Loretta Wittman, Curtain Call’s director, explained. “They’re having to create characters for each number that they’re part of.”
One highlight of the show is what Wittman called the “Backwards Section.” During this gender-bending set, Curtain Call’s women will perform “The World Will Know,” a rousing song from Newsies, and the men will sing the slinky “Cellblock Tango” from Chicago.
“I am very excited to do the gender-backwards Broadway,” Chris Young ’20 said a few weeks before opening night. “I’m personally not very familiar with Chicago, but the ‘Cellblock Tango’ is such a fun and funny piece to sing. The ladies also seem to be doing great with ‘The World Will Know.’ I think performing gender-backwards pieces is important to help illustrate that music is inclusive of anyone and everyone.”
Young, a tenor who spent last fall in England with the Gloucester Cathedral Choir, said he’s also looking forward to performing a solo in “Always Look on the Bright Side of Life,” a lighthearted ditty from Spamalot and Monty Python’s Life of Brian.
“I have always been a big fan of Monty Python and Spamalot, so this song always brings me lots of joy,” Young said. “It makes me think about sitting on the couch with my dad and brothers, watching Life of Brian, laughing, and enjoying the movie and company.”
In its second year at Lynchburg, Curtain Call holds annual auditions. Members attend twice-weekly classes, for which they get one hour of practicum credit, as well as additional rehearsals. The group performs on and off campus throughout the academic year.
“Our students are excellent, but being excellent doesn’t mean it’s not a lot of work,” Wittman said. “This isn’t just about singing. It’s about acting and becoming characters in a way that isn’t always there with traditional singing. The vast majority of time it’s memorized as well. They’re a wonderful group.”
Wittman added that she and musical director Dana Ballard “rather adore them and we’ve been having fun.”