School of Theatre and Dance students will fuse acclaimed Broadway plays for a performance that occurs only once every four years.
“Got Broadway Rhythm, Everybody Dance!,” which is directed by Judith Chitwood and choreographed by Chitwood, Autumn Eckman and Paula Frasz, is a tribute to eight dance numbers from musicals like “Grease,” “RENT” and “The Merry Widow.” Instead of having a regular concert like ballet or modern dance, every four years the school performs Broadway, Frasz said.
“Everything is fun entertainment value [but] still with the technique we depend on,” Frasz said.
The mixture of performances will show the range of students as they perform everything from ballet to tap to contemporary music, Frasz said.
“We think about what the students need while also doing a well-rounded concert and show what our students can do in terms of diversity,” Frasz said.
Senior dancing major Paige Jacobus, who will perform in “Mexican Breakfast,” “The Merry Widow” and a solo in “The Music and the Mirror,” said the dancers have been preparing for this performance since the first day of school.
“I want people to feel the energy of what we’re giving them,” Jacobus said. “I want them to feel more knowledgeable about dance, especially Broadway.”
Graduate acting student Brian Sprague will portray emcee Bob Fosse. Fosse was an actor, choreographer and director who won eight Tony Awards before his death in 1987.
“This dance department is really great at putting feeling into the movements,” Sprague said. “It’s not just about the technique; it’s about what’s behind it.”
Fosse’s character will act as the guide through “Got Broadway Rhythm, Everybody Dance!,” giving the audience background information before the performances, then segueing from piece to piece while humorously interacting with the audience, Sprague said. The show features pieces Fosse choreographed, like “Mexican Breakfast.”
“I want people to walk away and have something resonate with them and inspire them,” Sprague said. “As long as one person leaves every night going ‘This is what I want to do’ then we have made something, and that’s art.”