It’s a chilly spring night in Bayside. An unmistakable sense of anticipation fills the air. Blackout. Lights! Anchored by experienced musical veterans, a group of teens and young adults are making an unmistakable impression in Queens. Their confident onstage intensity, sincerity and genuine talent are acknowledged by an appreciative opening night audience at Theatre Time’s cabaret concert, “Once More, With Feeling.”
Young international soloist Amanda-Camille opens the performance with a stirring rendition of our national anthem. Amanda returns throughout the evening for powerful and passionate solos including “Empire State of Mind.” Her version of Gershwin’s “Summertime” is also outstanding.
Andrew Greiche and the troupe sing “Be Our Guest.” His duet with Joanna Schneider is a harmonious and affectionate tribute to “West Side Story.” Joanna’s operatic solo “Tu lo sai” is also excellent. Joanna sings “Memory,” while Jasmin Frankel provides a ballet interpretation. Throughout the evening, teen musicians Frankie Resto and David Friedman play their guitars with admirable ability.
Veteran community performers Sue Fiebert and Drew Lubeck sing solos and join for “Let’s Call The Whole Thing Off.” Music Director Brett Roelofs is back onstage after almost two decades. He accompanies the performers on keyboard, sings “In America” and shares his dreams for the original musical “Birthday Boy,” co-written with Pastor Jack Donahue.
Jane Bella Kharkover sings “Criminal” in Act I then honors legend Otis Redding with “(Sittin’ On) The Dock Of The Bay” in Act II. She also joins the girls for a bold version of Lieber & Stoller’s “I’m A Woman.”
The young entertainer with a big personality, Michelle Belio, sings her solos with an excellent presence and strong understanding of the lyrics, especially with “Nothing” from “A Chorus Line.”
Director Kevin C. Vincent and Producer Judy Vincent have gleaned much of the show’s exciting talent from LaGuardia High School of Music & Art and Performing Arts. Combined with local seasoned veterans, a Facebook Page (Jef Lawrence) and competent lights and sound (John Palmieri) the recipe for success is complete. An after show desserts table topped off a wonderful evening.
Theatre Time Productions’ “Once More, With Feeling” is onstage at 54-02 217 Street (Colonial Church of Bayside). For more information on this and future programs call (347) 358-8102 or surf to www.theatretime.org. As always, save me a seat on the aisle.