Wednesday, June 20, 2018
Stage

Broadway solos and dance numbers highlight replacement show at Stage West

SPRING HILL — The musical Bits of Broadway may turn out to be a bigger show than the one it replaced at Stage West Community Playhouse.

It has a cast of 24 doing 28 songs from shows that Stage West has produced since it started in the late 1980s. It replaces the book musical High Society in the Main Stage season.

"It was difficult to make the selections, as there were so many wonderful shows to choose from," said Lynda Dilts-Benson, the show's director, who co-wrote the script for the show with Paul Wade and Lena Burrows. Wade and Burrows will also be the narrators.

"There were so many selections from each show that if we tried to do more, we would have had a five-hour show," Dilts-Benson said.

"Carol Ballard was the mastermind for the selections of music, as she is the music director," she added.

The show, which was put together after issues arose with the direction and casting of High Society, opens with Wade singing Willkommen from Cabaret, with the 23 other cast members joining him. The show has soloists — Sharyn Beach singing You'll Never Walk Alone from Carousel, Brian Beach singing Impossible Dream from Man of LaMancha, Kristen Ballard doing Good Night My Someone from The Music Man, and Patti Watters singing People from Funny Girl — and that's just in the first act.

The show also has big dance numbers, such as one done to All That Jazz from Chicago and Can't Stop the Beat from Hairspray, choreographed by Andi Sperduti and Kathy Muriel. There's also a medley of songs from Les Miserables, featuring the actors who performed them in the award-winning Stage West production, including Brian Beach, Paul Wade and Victoria Primosch.

In addition, the show has songs from 1776 (Dear Mr. Adams), Sweeney Todd, The Rocky Horror Show, The Best Little Whorehouse in Texas, The Producers, Jekyll & Hyde, South Pacific, Fiddler on the Roof and many others.

"What has made this so interesting is that a lot of this music is totally new for more than half of the cast, as it is from before they were born, or at least from before they first became interested in musical theater," Dilts-Benson said.

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