The summer of 2015 brought many Scene Stealing moments and here is Part 1 of some of our favorites.
“At the finale of the concert given by the Blind Boys of Alabama at the Jim Rouse Theater for The Columbia Festival of the Arts on June 19, 2015, lead singer and original group member, Jimmy Carter, stole the show with a unique rendition of “If I Had a Hammer.” He sat on the front of the stage shaking hands with the audience and had everyone rocking in the aisles.
This was no longer Pete Seeger’s folk song, but more a twist on the Isley Brothers’ “Shout.” It was one of those performances that create a memory that will never fade.”-Susan Brall.
“The play as much as promises that 16-year-old Adam, who accidentally shot to death his brother, will make an auspicious entrance at the end—and Noah Chiet’s extraordinarily moving performance in the role does not disappoint. Chiet makes transparent to us a tortured soul who is suffering unbearable guilt and does so in a way that plunges the entire play into deeper emotional authenticity.”-John Stoltenberg
Along with 9 year-old Dani, (played by powerhouse singer Paige Cilluffo), whose leukemia has returned, 10 year-old Marty (played by the enthusiastic Ashton Schaffer) sing “Going to Heaven” with great excitement and hope that they will find an answer to the big question of this powerful musical: “Why is Cancer?” The chemistry they have together is so real that the roller coaster of emotions of the song and their energetic delivery lead to many tears being shed by me and other audience members.”-Joel Markowitz
Felicia Curry as Nancy Singing “As Long As He Needs Me” in Oliver! at Adventure Theatre MTC
WE ALL HAVE SPECIAL WEAPONS
A KISS / A BED / A KNIFE
WE USE THE GIFTS WE’RE GIVEN
I CHOOSE THIS LIFE
It’s a power anthem of re-upping and Gracie Jones belts it out of the park.”-John Stoltenberg
“Near the end of the second act Heidi, Evan Hansen’s loving mother, rescues him from his despair and embraces him in maternal redemption. She does this with a song called “So Big/So Small” that she sings to him on a sofa holding him in her arms. Its music and lyrics (about her steadfast love for him) are deeply moving, and Rachel Bay Jones’s performance is so heart-wrenching that all eyes are on her, and none are dry.”-John Stoltenberg
Dyland Ngo as Tobias Singing “Not While I’m Around” in Sweeney Todd: Prog Metal Version at Landless Theatre Company
“In a jam-packed 60 minutes – we are here with this tortured soul – and there is no escape! And if Sinatra was the greatest seller of lyrics, Robert Michael Oliver is the greatest seller of Poe’s words. His delivery is sometimes heart-wrenching, sometimes funny, sometimes surprising, and sometimes scary. His energy is boundless and his stage presence haunting. He’s a force of nature….And of course in the hands of this master “The Raven” was an experience I won’t soon forget.”-Joel Markowitz
“The musical tells the story of Evan, a high school student,and charts for him a character arc that is a profound trajectory of conscience. Despite Evan’s good intentions in deceiving others, he comes to realize that he has totally, totally screwed up. The deception he committed was so wrong he cannot stand himself. And there comes a point in the second act when Evan falls apart emotionally in a morass of crushing guilt in his song called “Words Fail.” Ben Platt’s performance, stellar from start to finish, becomes at that moment like a searing solar flare, an embodiment of such sorrow and remorse that we are stunned into awe.”-John Stoltenberg
Congrats to cast members Paige Cilluffo (Dani); Neal Going (Raph); Julia Mann (Dani’s Mother) and Ashton Schaffer (Marty) Musical Director Ben Parsell (who also played piano); Assistant Musical Director Christina Guenther, musicians Kyle Cooper on drums and Bryan Covell on Cello; Technical Director Chad Robertson; Technical Assistant Josh Laney: and Mitch Coomer for his excellent lighting.”-Joel Markowitz
DCMetroTheaterArts’ Summer 2015 Scene Stealers Part 2.
Read about our other Scene Stealers honorees.