Review: Teen Angel Project’s ‘CenterStage: Come Fly With Me’

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Last weekend, hundreds of residents of the DMV were taken on a joyful journey with the student performers of Teen Angel Project (TAP). CenterStage: Come Fly With Me delighted an audience of all ages on stage at JCCGW’s Kreeger Auditorium.

Bringing Magic to the air "On Broadway." Photo courtesy of Carmelita Watkinson.

Bringing Magic to the air “On Broadway.” Photo courtesy of Carmelita Watkinson.

TAP’s unique mission, to bring joy to communities in need through song and dance, was featured in this travel-themed musical revue, and particularly through timeless selections from the Big Band era (Glen Miller’s ‘Chattanooga Choo Choo’), Broadway’s Golden Age (“Sit Down You’re Rocking the Boat” from Guys and Dolls), and newer standards (“Good Morning Baltimore” from Hairspray.

Hannah Marill, Elise Prosen and Shannon Snape "Putting on the Ritz." Photo by Carmelita Watkinson.

Hannah Marill, Elise Prosen, and Shannon Snape “Putting on the Ritz.” Photo by Carmelita Watkinson.

The Teen Angels -‘students in grades 6 through 12, did what they love to do: make people smile and laugh, while demonstrating hope for humanity in the form of youthful spirit. Members of Special Olympics Montgomery County’s JOY Cheerleading squad and their families were the honored guests, singing and swaying along to the action on stage.

Four high school seniors, who closed the show with “Raise you UP/Just Be” from Kinky Boots, had stolen the spotlight earlier with their powerful solos.. Tony Niverth and Logan Dechter (aka Jean Valjean and Javert) mesmerized the audience with masterful  harmonies in “Confrontation” from Les Miserables.

Haley Stuart and Gracie Kennedy raised spirits and brought smiles with their angelic voices, confidence, and poise while performing Carole King’s “So Far Away” and “Over the Rainbow” from The Wizard of Oz, respectively. While
these seniors will clearly be missed as TAP enters its fifth season of performances in nursing homes, rehab centers, and hospitals throughout the region, the talent level of even the youngest performers makes it clear that this ensemble will continue to lighten hearts.

Members of Tap and Tap Jr celebrating their success of 'Center Stage.'

Members of Tap and Tap Jr celebrating their success of ‘Center Stage.’

Katerina Gorlenko’s vocal power and depth, Logan Dross’ clicking heels, Natalie Mintz’s infectious joy, and Caroline Kitt’s impish twinkle all bode well for the success of TAP’s mission for years to come. Word on the street: Auditions are coming up! Mark your calendars: April 23rd. See the website for details.

Running Time: Two hours plus an intermission.

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CenterStage: Come Fly With Me by the Teen Angel Project was performed on March 18 and 19, 2016 at The Kreeger Auditorium at The Jewish Community Center of Greater Washington – 6125 Montrose Road, in Rockville, MD.

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