Just got back from seeing a wonderful performance of Big River, a musical I never even knew existed before. I cannot believe the way Georgetown's Palace Theater pulls off these musical extravaganzas like The Producers, Grease so well. (Little Shop of Horrors was only so-so.)
It probably has something to do with the talent--people with real backgrounds and solid credentials like Joan Baker, Stephen Jack, Robert King, Jr., Steve Menke, Curt Olson, and others, plus fantastic newcomers Adam Munoz and Nick Orzech. In fact, with few exceptions, the entire large cast was great.
The musicality of most of the cast was impressive, especially that of the lead, young Adam Munoz, who has a wonderful, consistent, finished voice (with an amazing range) just as he is about to enter high school as a freshman. High School Musical, anyone?
The audience was stuffed full and very appreciative as Roger Miller's music swept everyone along on a raft down the Mississippi with Huck's dawning social conscience aboard. But the whole thing would have been nothing without the absolutely fantabulous violin, guitar, and harmonica trio that cobbled the whole story together. Whatever the Palace is doing to attract musicians of the stature and skill of Kristen Randolph, Kevin Gates, and Jose Ruiz, keep it up!
An interesting sidebar: perhaps noticing that musicals are its most popular productions, the Palace is now offering "new lower prices for Non-Musicals."
Its musical plans for next year, however, include Man of la Mancha, Annie, Nunsense II, A Little Night Music,, and Joseph & the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat.
I don't know about you, but I'll be there with my toes a-tappin'.