The second of this season’s Sacramento Theatre Company Cabaret Series, “They Say It’s Wonderful: Broadway’s Best Love Songs,” opened Thursday night.
Again the lobby of the STC Mainstage Theatre has again been turned into a nice little nightclub with many tables for four.
The program features love songs from the late 1920s to the present. The show opens with “How Long Has This Been Going On” from the1927 show “Rosalie.” The show is long-forgotten, but the song has remained popular over the decades.
After some straightforward love songs such as “Someone to Watch Over Me” (“Oh Kay”) and “On the Street Where You Live” (“My Fair Lady”) the first set turns to fun, funny love songs ending with “Suddenly, Seymour” from “Little Shop of Horrors.”
The second set opens with several songs from popular revivals on Broadway. These include songs from revivals such as “Annie Get Your Gun,” “The King and I” and “The Music Man.” These songs are followed by songs chosen by cast members as some of their favorite Broadway musical love songs. The show ends with love songs from more contemporary shows, including “Lets Hear It for the Boy” (“Footloose”) and ending with “Without Love” from “Hairspray.”
The show was created and directed by STC producing director Michael Laun. The cabaret series allows Laun a major Broadway musical affection-ado to get in front of an audience for a change.
Laun was joined by a STC Cabaret Series regular Kristen Wagner. Wagner has also appeared with Artistic Differences, Runaway Stage and the ever popular Graham-a-rama. She is especially good with “Moment in the Woods” from “Into the Woods.” Wagner and Laun have great fun with “Do You Love Me” from “Fiddler on the Roof.”
All the other performers are new to the STC Cabaret Series, starting with Ian Culity. Culity recently played Jesus in “Refer Madness” at Artistic Differences. He has a great voice and theatrical style. He is especially fun with “Farmer Tan” from “Pump Boys and Dinettes.” Culity and Laun do a great duet with “Agony” from Sondheim’s “Into the Woods.”
Also new to the STC Cabaret Series is Maggie Elizabeth May. May is another shining example of the STC Young Professionals Conservatory. She was in the first year of the YPC and went on to train at the Royal Academy of Music in London, debuting in the West End production of “Sister Act” with Whoopi Goldberg. The 24-year-old has a beautiful voice and really shines on “Someone Like You” from “Jekyll and Hyde” and does a spectacular duet with Abbey Williams-Campbell on “For Good” from “Wicked.”
Williams-Campbell, 15, is another cast member from the STC Young Professionals Conservatory. She has already appeared in “A Christmas Carol,” “ Cinderella” and “Arranged Marriage.” She will appear in the STC Mainstage production of “Brighton Beach Memoirs” in March. Williams-Campbell is wonderful on “Think of Me” from Andrew Lloyd Webber’s “Phantom of the Opera.”
Singing individually, in duets and as a whole cast, the performers in “They Say It’s Wonderful” brought to life nearly 30 love songs from the distant past to contemporary Broadway to an appreciative audience.
Limited run. Shows at 2:00 and 8:00 pm today