‘The Show Must Go On!’ heralds McLean Community Players’ return

After a three-year hiatus, an audience pleaser of a musical revue.

The McLean Community Players have been on a hiatus for three years because of the pandemic and venue renovations. The Show Must Go On! A Musical Revue was rescheduled from July of this year, which made this compilation of a very talented group of singers/performers seem more special. The revue highlighted musicals that the Players have performed over the years and songs from musicals they hope to present in the future.

The cast consisted of some impressive talented performers who should all get a mention for their efforts. Included were performers who have been on Broadway, along with many credits that include Carnegie Hall and DMV theaters. The cabaret-style show was under the direction of Michael Replogle and Jess Rawls and produced by Shaun Moe and Claire Tse. The music was directed by Bart MacMillan.

Members of the cast of ‘The Show Must Go On!’: Josie Morgan, Jennifer Levy, Shakil Azizi, Brooke Nyren, Shaun Moe, George Willis, and Jess Rawls. Photo by Claire Tse.

The simple set consisted of boxes with musical names, easy for placement and sitting. The orchestra consisted of Bart MacMillan (keyboard), David Burrelli (bass), and Michael Hale (drums). They stayed in sync with the performers the entire night. There were eighteen songs in the show. Some were familiar and some not-so-familiar might go on your “must-listen” list.

Act One opened with the entire company singing “Being Alive” from Company. Jennifer Soraya Rose sang a very heartfelt and resounding rendition with a set of pipes that had you on the edge of your seat. Shakil Azizi followed with a very funny and well-acted “I Am Adolpho” from The Drowsy Chaperone. I admit I am a softie when it comes to The Sound of Music. The background screen of the Austrian Alps and the beauty and grace of soprano Shelby Young singing “The Sound of Music” were delightful. If you love Little Shop of Horrors, you would be thoroughly entertained by Brooke Nyren and Shaun Moe duetting on “Suddenly Seymour.”

Act Two would have you thinking you are seeing the show Finding Neverland, with the entertaining performances by George Willis, Shaun Moe, and Shakil Azizi singing “Live by the Hook.” Two unique songs from Crazy Ex-Girlfriend — “A Diagnosis” performed by Brooke Nyren and “Hear Me Out” from 36 Questions by Jess Rawls — had me wanting more. My guest and I loved the well-acted and -harmonized song “Bad Idea” from Waitress, performed by Josie Morgan and Shakil Azizi. Shout-out to Jennifer Levy for her very funny and entertaining rendition of “The Ladies Who Lunch” from Company. The entire cast joined in unison to give us a heartfelt and emotional “You Will Be Found” from Dear Evan Hansen.

The performers and crew of McLean Community Players put their time, heart, and souls into opening their season with an entertaining audience pleaser of a show.

Running Time: Approximately one hour 45 minutes, including a 15-minute intermission.

The Show Must Go On! A Musical Revue played September 23 and 24, 2022, presented by McLean Community Players performing at the Alden Theatre, 1234 Ingleside Avenue, McLean, Virginia.

Lighting Designer: Braden Aust
Sound Designer/Operator: Jon Roberts, Claire Tse
Set Dressing: Claire Tse


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