Assessment: To start with-of-its form musical arrives to Pittsburgh | Enjoyment

Yoshiko Yap


If the debut of “HITS, The Musical!” national tour was confined to a just one-phrase evaluate, that exclamation would be most correct.

So would “Amazing!” “Sensational!” and “Fantastic,” among the many other choices.

Indiana County residents lucky to be amongst those in attendance for the singing and dancing extravaganza at the Benedum Theater in Pittsburgh on March 11 definitely drove property buzzing or singing some of the 80-plus songs that have been offered in medleys from various decades of acquainted tunes in a lot of genres — from Broadway to Hollywood and numerous stops in amongst.

Govt developed by legendary hitmaker and Grammy Lifetime Achievement honoree Dionne Warwick and her son, multi-platinum document producer/Oscar nominee Damon Elliott, the present is a 90-minute musical journey that recreates the biggest hits in pop, rock, rap, film and Broadway from the 1960’s to the present.

Producers say that “Until ‘Hits! The Musical,’ there has not been a present showcasing only performers ages 10-22. Some could say they are as well young and not prepared for the major time. And how erroneous they would be!”

Without a doubt!

What an impressively talented, enthusiastic, tireless group, including Pittsburghers Loren Prisuta, 14, and Nasir Butler, 22!

Absolutely everyone presented spectacular flexibility and managed a joyous vibe in the course of the evening.

Following A nationwide look for of additional than 7,000 auditionees, producers say the forged of 29 represent the most extraordinary singers and dancers in the nation.

They insert, “These long term recording artists and Broadway stars characterize the quite greatest of America’s youth.”

Bob Gries, founder and govt producer, designed the musical to give performers the possibility to take centre phase and showcase their unique skills.

Welcoming the audience, currently pumped up from the pre-show recorded audio finding them in the mood, the Cleveland native praised the city and the historic theater, the roots of which go back to when it commenced as the Stanley Theatre in 1928, the place several of the greats of American amusement done as a result of the decades, including Frank Sinatra, Duke Ellington, Judy Garland, Ella Fitzgerald, Gene Krupa, Benny Goodman, Glenn Miller, Tommy Dorsey, Jimmy Dorsey, Artie Shaw, Lionel Hampton, Laurel and Hardy, Milton Berle, Jimmy Durante, Lucille Ball and Dezi Arnez and the 3 Stooges.

AN Awesome Present!

Gries promised, “This will be one particular of the most awesome demonstrates you have found.”

And it was!

Perfectly-spoken and multi-proficient Colin Mash, a indigenous of Japanese Pennsylvania who analyzed at Temple College, was remarkable as narrator-vocalist, advancing the display from 10 years to ten years as he established the temper of the various time periods, giving context by way of news headlines and the music.

Just before the tour started, Mash mentioned, “I just desired to let anyone know that the setting is not just like any Broadway display. This is a live performance environment which is so enjoyment!”

This is a rapidly-paced demonstrate constantly in joyous motion. It has to be bodily demanding way too, even for this sort of youthful expertise. But they were extra than up to the undertaking by several costume improvements, superb dancing and singing. They sang solos and in different combos with other people, like comprehensive team choices.

NO Electricity Scarcity

There may not have been this considerably energy on stage in a extensive, extended time.

Pittsburgh’s Loren Prisuta, 14, experienced previously promised, “If you adore audio, you will adore the demonstrate!”

That is undoubtedly real.

“It’s just an all-out enjoyment show,” she claimed.

“I like to describe it as a relationship amongst a live performance and a musical, on a single of the most outstanding and dazzling sets I’ve at any time viewed,” she adds. “There is this kind of a fantastic sampling of a wide assortment of hits tunes that will consider you back in time all the way up to tunes of the present working day. This is most surely a relatives welcoming, all ages present. Young kids up to seniors will take pleasure in and enjoy it.”

Prisuta is in the eighth grade at Pine-Richland Center School in the Pittsburgh suburbs.

She carries a ton of responsibility in the exhibit.

Prisuta has the opening vocal lines of the night with the Carpenter’s “Sing,” the guide in “Aquarius/Allow the Sunshine In” in the “Stage and Screen” medley, solos with 4 Non-Blondes’ “What’s Up” (penned by Ray Davies, formerly of the Kinks, who most likely would be impressed with Prisuta’s strong on-the-mark interpretation) in the “Rock” medley, lead vocals on “Love Shack” in the ’80’s medley, solos with Mariah Carey’s “Hero” in the “’90s” medley, and opens with Madonna’s “Music” in the “2,000s” medley. She is also a Supreme in the “’60s,” in Abba in the “’70s,” Sporty Spice in the Spice Ladies in the “’90s” and in a variety of other songs on stage singing in the course of the present.

Chance OF Life span

“It’s a opportunity of a lifetime to do the job with this sort of an incredible solid and resourceful crew. I’m studying and producing with just about every performance, and am so grateful to be listed here,” she points out. “Every one forged member brings their personal uniqueness and talent, and that is what will make the entire show so spectacular. I carry my passion for overall performance to the phase and hope to pass that pleasure alongside to the viewers, and hope to encourage other younger people today to pursue the arts if that is what they love.”

Remaining a element of this tour also implies a lot to Pittsburgh’s Nasir Butler, 22.

“I have constantly dreamed of traveling around the earth and staying capable to accomplish and do what I appreciate for folks from all distinct walks of everyday living,” he explains. “And to be in a position to do it with some others that are so passionate would make it so significantly much more of a great knowledge for me. I hope I am equipped to deliver a lot pleasure and good recollections for those who appear see the show, irrespective of their age.”

He also performs in the course of the demonstrate, which include serving as one of 4 soloists for the tune “This is Me” from “The Best Showman.”

“It has been an honor to have the legend Dionne Warwick and her gifted son Damon Elliot sign up for as government producers for this present,” he provides. “They are so, so supportive of just about every one forged member in the exhibit and they make sure that they allow us know how gifted and remarkable we are and how substantially we are aiding this show turn out to be just one of America’s greatest HITS!”

As just one audience member remarked soon after the Pittsburgh exhibit, “They are actually good!”

Rex Rutkoski is a veteran regional, countrywide and worldwide freelance author based mostly in the Pittsburgh suburbs of Freeport, Pa. He can be reached at rex [email protected]

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