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Figaro, Figaro, FI-GA-RO!

This semester, Eastern’s theatre department is trying something new. Instead of having one musical, it is having 16–well, 16 songs from 16 musicals, that is.

“Life is Pandemonium: A Series of Scenes from Random Musicals and Operas” is the title of the Opera/Musical Theatre Workshop’s upcoming show, which will be performed on March 27 and 28.

Directed by music professor Teresa Nevola Moyer, alumnae Natalie Cisternas and Jacqueline Bach and senior Kevin Monaghan, “Pandemonium” combines song and dance routines with minimum stage and costume design to create a unique show.

“The show has such an energy,” Moyer said. “It will make our students shine.”

Of the 16 songs, five are ensemble pieces that feature the majority of the 23 cast members. The other pieces are duets and trios.

The chosen songs come from a variety of musicals and operas including “Hairspray,” “Wicked,” “Avenue Q” and “The Marriage of Figaro.”

Each of the cast members will be in more than one song, with some in as many as six.

Thirteen of the cast members are enrolled in Moyer’s class, MUS130C. The other members are in either Acting Lab or Acting Through Song. Rebecca Whitlow, music director for “Pandemonium,” co-taught MUS130C.

Teaching the class was an interesting experience for Moyer and Whitlow. The first of its kind at Eastern, MUS130C brought many students together with varying levels of musical experience.

“Everyone had a little bit of experience, but there’s all different levels,” said junior Kat Moorman, one of the performers. “There are some who have been singing for years and others who have never sung before on stage.”

Although production has been challenging at times, the students have done a great job overcoming any difficulties.

“Everybody’s so excited,” Whitlow said. “Part of what helps them memorize the music is that they’re just so jazzed about it.”

Moyer also said that the cast is the “nicest group of students ever.”

The performers agree that the process of putting together “Pandemonium” has been a good experience, despite the sometimes chaotic nature of rehearsing so large a production.

“I love the collaborative process and how everyone works together,” sophomore Kendra DeMicco said.

Sophomore Chris Packard agreed. “It’s been really great working with everyone,” he said. “This is my first foray into Eastern theatre, and it’s been a fantastic experience.”

From seniors to first-years, alumni to faculty, “Pandemonium” is a true work of collaboration. Should “Pandemonium” succeed–and it seems that it will–the cabaret-style show will reappear on the McInnis stage every two years.

“There is something in each of the 16 scenes that will relate to everyone,” Whitlow said, encouraging students to attend.

But the question is: Are the performers ready?

“They’re already ready,” Moyer said. “We just have to piece it together.”
 

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