Facetime Theatre is gearing up for the opening of a well-renowned 1991 John Kander and Fred Ebb revue as its second mainstage production. A talented cast of 20 performers will tackle some of the famous duo’s most challenging music. “Though the title may not be a familiar one, many of the numbers in THE WORLD GOES ‘ROUND will be familiar to audience members,” said Kate Nice, the production’s director and music director. The songs come from a variety of Kander and Ebb musicals, ranging from huge hits like CABARET and CHICAGO to smaller favorites like THE ACT and THE RINK.
Earlier this week I had the opportunity to drop in on a tech rehearsal. The show encompasses everything from intimate solos to exuberant group dances, and even roller skates are involved. While the lighting and sound quirks were still being worked out, I was able to enjoy some wonderful performances from the cast, supported by a skillful onstage orchestra. Emilie Starczewski, backed by the entire ensemble, really punches the sultry “All that Jazz”. At the other end of the scale, Stephen Tornetta and Mac Snead beautifully harmonize in a memorable mash-up of “I Don’t Remember You” and “Sometimes a Day Goes By”.
THE WORLD GOES ‘ROUND will be performed in Ursinus College’s very impressive Lenfest Theatre. The cast, though, spent the majority of the rehearsals in the more condensed Facetime Performing Arts Studio in Phoenixville. In fact, because of scheduling difficulties caused by the Memorial Day weekend, the production will have only three rehearsals in the actual theatre before the show opens.
“The biggest challenge with this production was certainly scheduling and space,” Nice elaborated. “The only time that all of these people [cast, musicians, and production team] will be able to attend a rehearsal together will be at our final tech rehearsal. The cast only rehearsed all together three times prior to tech week.” She has no qualms, though. “I am most proud of the fact that, in all, the cast is well-prepared and well-equipped to deliver a phenomenal performance.” From what I observed, everything appears right on track to do just that.
Before this year, Facetime focused predominantly on its youth Summer Stage program (which this year will be expanded into two productions, FIDDLER and TARZAN), but now the theatre is excited to be evolving into a more comprehensive theatre that involves programming for both young and adult actors. Although not ready to provide any specifics, Nice gave a glimpse of what is ahead. “Our 2015 season will begin in January with a smaller musical production in the Black Box Theatre of Ursinus College. The season will end with a larger, main-stage musical in the Lenfest Theatre.”
For the moment, however, she is excited to see everyone’s reaction to Facetime’s current offering. “Spectators will delight in beautiful melodies and poignant lyrics. They will laugh at the unique implementation of everyday humor and storytelling. Audience members will find themselves energized by the terrific dancing and affecting visuals. They will certainly be entertained throughout!”
THE WORLD GOES ‘ROUND runs only this weekend, with performances on Friday and Saturday at 8pm and Sunday at 2pm. The production will be featured in the Lenfest Theatre of the Kaleidoscope Performing Arts Center, which is found at Ursinus College’s 9th Avenue entrance.
THE WORLD GOES ‘ROUND
Music by John Kander
Lyrics by Fred Ebb
Directed and Music Directed by Kate Nice
May 30, 31 and June 1, 2014
The Kaleidoscope Performing Arts Center
9th Ave. & College Ave.
Collegeville, PA 19426