A musical revue with a major twist will kick off Illinois Valley Community College’s fall theater season when “Broadway Backwards” takes the stage at 7:30 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 26, and Sunday, Oct. 27.
"Broadway Backwards" is a new type of entertainment that has recently become a popular and unique showcase for stage talent. Originating on Broadway as part of "Broadway Cares," a philanthropic Actors Equity fund, it was presented as a one-night-only fundraiser featuring Broadway performers.
Director and choreographer of musical theater at IVCC, Don Grant Zellmer, explained, “We’re following the original format of 'Broadway Backwards,' a revue in which women perform Broadway songs written and performed by men, and men perform the women’s songs.
“In putting this together, we’re already enjoying one of our men performing ‘I’m Just A Girl Who Cain’t Say No’ from ‘Oklahoma!’ or one of our women performing ‘Why Can’t A Woman Be More Like A Man?’ from ‘My Fair Lady.’ ”
He added, “We’re also pretty excited to have all eight principals from ‘Mamma Mia!’ back together, so there will definitely be some tribute to our biggest show on record.”
The large cast includes many community members, IVCC alumni and performing arts students. "Broadway Backwards" is under the direction of Zellmer, and produced by David A. Kuester.
The cast includes Kevin Alleman, of Granville; Reid Tomasson, of Oglesby; Karen Lesman, Nora Maier, Melanie Maskel, Kristin Mitchel, Zoe Piano and Ella Johns, of La Salle; Deb Torri, of Morris; Alexis Trammel, of Ottawa; Dr. Patrice Hess, Ashley Hurst, Mark Nowakoski, Naomi Ochuba, Bob Phillip, Emily Pytel and Megan Zomboracz-Cullinan, of Peru; Ron McCutchan, Emerson Roden, Joey Santos and Joshua Wooden, of Princeton; and Kelly Johnson, of Seneca.
Tickets are $15 and information will be available Oct. 1 at ivcc.edu. Proceeds benefit Students of Performing Arts and Music Organization for future and ongoing theater projects.