Rodgers and Hammerstein’s “A Grand Night for Singing” was held at Bolding Studio Jan. 31 through Feb. 2 at 7:30 p.m. with a matinee on Feb. 3.
The Tony Award-nominated musical revue consists of 35 songs written by the iconic duo, from beloved musicals like “The Sound of Music,” “Cinderella,” “The King and I,” “Oklahoma!” and many more.
There are five cast members in the revue, but there were two different casts in Samford’s production. One cast performed Thursday and Saturday while the other performed Friday and Sunday.
“Even between the two casts you get a little something different because it really is such a collaborative and unique project,” said cast member Emily Strickland.
The five parts retain the names of the original cast members of the revue from 1993 but were replaced by the current cast members names.
“I was cast in Vicki’s role. However, I will be going by my own name, Emily,” said Strickland. “My role is the Mezzo-Soprano of the group and I have a mix of comedic and dramatic moments throughout the show.”
In addition to singing as Vicki on Friday and Sunday, Strickland choreographed eight numbers for the show, saying, “They’re all very fun and different.”
“Many of the songs that were solos are now turned into group numbers or medleys,” said Strickland. “Our revue is similar to a musical, but with very little dialogue.”
But, Strickland explains, the minimal dialogue actually lends to greater freedom for the cast members in their respective characters and songs, which she says is her favorite part of the production.
“Because there is really no set plot or specific characters, we get to make choices about our characters’ point of view that in a normal musical we may not otherwise have the liberty to make,” she said.
In a word, Strickland describes “A Grand Night for Singing” as “everything.”
“It’s the classics that you know and love with a little twist,” she said. “Our group numbers are fun and inviting and our smaller numbers are heartfelt and nostalgic. You’ve seen classic musicals and modern cabarets at Samford, but this is a mix of both.”