Harlequin held their ninth annual musical revue this past weekend in the Church Street Center, featuring 21 songs from musicals and musical movies such as “West Side Story” and “Dr. Horrible’s Sing-a-long Blog”.
Without the aid of microphones on stage, all of the performers had to rely on the power of their voices to convey their music.
They stepped up to the challenge and delivered with strong, powerful vocals, especially when there was an ensemble involved.
The first song, “Age of Aquarius/Let the Sunshine In” from “Hair” showed how powerful the ensemble could be, repeatedly coming to the front of the stage and singing together in harmony. Strong ensembles were used throughout the night in pieces such as the medley from “The Muppets Christmas Carol”, “Gee, Officer Krupke”, and “Sit Down You’re Rocking the Boat”.
The women of Harlequin shined frequently throughout the night. “Bring on the Men” from Jekyll & Hyde showed off their talent as they wooed and seduced the helpless men before them. “Ladies Who Lunch” had Annie Hochheiser, Lauren Feeney, Brittney Gerber and Jacquelyn Gianetti stumbling in mock inebriation while maintaining perfect pitch. During Act 2, Gerber returned for “We Are Women” to playfully compete with Jessica Atanas for Ben Balon’s attention.
Not to be outdone, the male-centric acts were equally talented and impressive. “Gee, Officer Krupke” featured seven Harlequin men taking on roles from West Side Story. Sam Cournyn had a cameo as Officer Krupke as he, donut in hand, chased the misbehaving boys off the stage and into the aisles at the end of the number.
The evening also featured many duets, starting with Coughlin and Prendergast in “You’re the Top”.
Later, Coughlin returned, this time with Jonathan Kinney, to perform “Pa-Pa-Pa-Pa-Papageno” from Mozart’s “The Magic Flute”. Cournyn and Mary Marcil sang Sweeny Todd’s “A Little Priest”, the two of them juxtaposed with their respective knife and spoon. On a serious tone, Quincy Goodwin and Brycen Waters graced the stage with a heartstring-tugging version of “Lily’s Eyes” from “The Secret Garden”.
There were a handful of solo pieces throughout the evening as well. Senior Jeff Bliss took the stage to perform the Avenue Q number “Purpose”, while Atanas gave a jaw-dropping performance of “I Believe in Love” from “Hair”. Christine Pavao’s rendition of “Moments in the Woods” from “Into the Woods” was both playful and heartfelt as she contemplated what to do about the dashing prince on her mind.
All of the pieces embodied the passion of a musical, but some took it to new heights and crossed into a silliness that bordered on wonderfully campy. “Everyone’s a Hero/Slipping,” from “Dr. Horrible’s Sing-a-long Blog” was full of jokes, including the line “Justice has a name, and the name it has, besides justice, is Captain Hammer.”
Later in the evening, “Cabin in the Woods” from “Evil Dead: The Musical” took the silliness even higher, with Jimmy Dunn and company happily singing about going to an abandoned cabin in the woods for spring break, blissfully unaware of the perils that wait at said cabin.
The evening finished with “For Now” from Avenue Q, featuring all of the Harlequin seniors. This was their moment to steal all the attention as seniors for the last time, and they certainly did. Each senior was highlighted, and at the very end they unfurled a goodbye-banner signed by each of them.
Harlequin’s spring production this year is “Little Shop of Horrors”. Details concerning auditions will be announced soon.