Gender-bending Uptown Players uproot Broadway traditions
Published: Tuesday, January 22, 2013
Updated: Thursday, January 24, 2013 20:01
Gender stratification? Don’t ask Uptown Players anything about that, they wouldn’t know.
In their annual fundraiser aptly titled “Broadway Our Way”, the Dallas theatre staple turns the tables on classic Broadway songs and let males take the lead on traditionally female-sang songs and vice versa.
The result? A gender-bending blend of Broadway’s best songs with Dallas’ best voices.
The evening starts swiftly with a punchy, short monologue from the show’s ringleaders, BJ Cleveland and Marisa Diotalevi. After a quick laugh Diotalevi belts a welcoming number that informs the audience that Uptown Dallas is “not just for gays anymore.”
If there were any pre-conceived notions that “Broadway Our Way” was an inclusive event, those thoughts are quickly shown the door.
The remaining first act is a who’s who of Broadway’s best with standards ranging from “Anything Goes” to “Marry the Man Today” from Guys and Dolls.
The company ends its first act with a tease to its 2013 season that includes a medley of songs from 2013’s slated shows like “Ragtime” and “Kiss of the Spider Woman.”
The second act continues its gender-flipping feat in the same light and quick manner as the first.
However, the show takes a more serious turn with a powerhouse performance of “With You” from “Ghost: The Musical” by Angel Velasco.
Angel, who virtually goes unnoticed before his solo, uses the traditionally female song to show off his range and vocal power.
Denise Lee makes a guest appearance to pay tribute to Jeff Kinman, a recently deceased company member that left a lasting impact on Dallas’ theater scene. Kinman’s last performance with the company was in their production of “The Last Session”, a role for which he garnered much critical acclaim.
Lee’s rendition of “Going It Alone” from “The Last Session” is a somber, perfectly sung, send-off to a performer whose career won’t be forgotten anytime soon.
“Broadway Our Way” rides its emotional wave to an uplifting finale featuring the song “Louder Than Words” from the show “Tick, Tick…Boom”.
Ultimately, at its heart, “Broadway Our Way” is an jam-packed three hours that not only features stand out direction and composition but also shows just how much depth the Dallas performance scene possesses.
All right 2013, “Broadway Our Way” has set the bar for the year. Which Dallas company wants to pass it?