American Performing Arts International return to Edinburgh with their musical theatre revue
If you like showtunes, you’ll like this.
The twenty one strong company is made up of a junior ensemble group and a senior group of soloists, all coming together for the opening and closing numbers. It is obvious how well rehearsed the group is by the seamlessly blended harmonies in the group numbers although at times the soloists’ projection would be lost amongst the ensemble and backing track. The well-oiled ensemble also features many strong individual voices which culminates in a delightful and entertaining production.
Highlights come from Chase Ramsey’s powerful Maria (West Side Story) which highlighted Ramsey’s control between his strong belting and the softer moments. Cam Cahoon’s This Is the Moment (Jekyll and Hyde) was another strong point, his smooth tone leading us to an emotional crescendo as the song builds. Throughout the performance Brittni Smith’s spritely soprano elevates each number with energy.
Energy is a key word for this show, as the performers’ joy is almost tangible – the audience seems to absorb this energy and the fun is reflected in both performer and audience. There are many humorous numbers in the repertoire, often scheduled to lighten the mood after a more sombre number, which makes for a great journey. Look out for Shawn Mortensen’s hilarious I Am Adolpho (The Drowsy Chaperone) in which Mortensen fully embodies the vigorously confident Latin lothario Adolpho with so much zest, the audience couldn’t help getting involved and singing to his command.
A really enjoyable production and a great way to start off a Fringe day – if you like showtunes, you’ll like this.