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Stars on Broadway 5: Heroes and Villains from Open Door Community Theatre and Aspire Music Academy

It’s a bird, it’s a plane! No, it’s Stars on Broadway 5: Heroes and Villains!

This show is a little different than anything else I’ve written about on my blog. Stars on Broadway isn’t a play; it’s a revue. For those unfamiliar, a musical revue is a theatrical production that strings together songs and/or sketches from a number of different shows on a common theme. Stars on Broadway is a tradition for Open Door Community Theatre and Aspire Music Academy. Every year, Open Door donates a portion of the production’s proceeds to a local charity, and this year, that charity is Coco’s Heart Dog Rescue, a Hudson-based rescue organization that holds a very special place in my heart because it brought me to the greatest blessing in my life, my dog, Elphie. (Yes, Elphie as in Elphaba. Never doubt the depths of my love for musical theater.)

Before I get to the show, I want to give some love to Coco’s Heart. Coco’s Heart has been around for ten years and has rescued over 8000 dogs in that time. They generally have about 150 dogs in rescue at a time, and every single one is placed with a volunteer foster. Even the dogs that take a little longer to find their forever family spend their time in a home with loving fosters. From the perspective of an adopter, Coco’s Heart could not have been more wonderful to work with. The first dog I was interested in was one that I’d met at an adoption event and fallen in love with, but another family filled out an application for him first. I was pretty devastated, but the adoption coordinator worked with me and matched me with another dog. That dog is asleep on my lap right now and brightens every moment of my life. I love her so much, and I am so grateful to Coco’s Heart for everything they do to connect people like me to wonderful, deserving dogs like Elphie.

SO, I’m sure you’re curious about the show! I wasn’t entirely sure what to expect, but I was pleasantly surprised! There are over 120 performers in this production, ranging from young children to seasoned adults. In the program, performers are categorized by the age ranges “Littles,” “Middles,” “Teens,” and “Adults.” The adults were great, but the kids really stole the show for me. Watching them sing, dance, and act their hearts out, I kept thinking about how every performer on Broadway right now was in a show like this once, giving it everything they had because they just simply loved to perform. I can’t wait for one (or several!) of these kids to make it big someday and be able to say I saw them way back when!

The show is broken into two acts with five or six scenes in each. Each scene is a smaller theme within the overarching theme of “Heroes and Villains.” It starts with Disney songs, moves into Wizard of Oz inspired songs (their rendition of “Slide Some Oil to Me” from The Wiz was possibly my favorite in the entire show), and continues to shift themes every six or seven songs-ish. My favorite overall theme was “Adolescent War Zones,” which featured the massively talented teenagers singing selections from Mean Girls, Bring it On, and High School Musical.

My one qualm with the production was the length. Unfortunately, I had to leave a little early, but I imagine the whole thing would’ve been close to three hours. Act 1 alone was a little over 90 minutes, which is the typical length of an entire play. Of course, there are 120 performers, and each one gets ample stage time, which is great! But the length did start to make it difficult to stay totally engaged.

Overall, I recommend taking the time to support some fantastic performers and a life-saving organization by seeing Stars on Broadway 5: Heroes and Villains. The show runs through Feb. 23 at Hudson High School. Tickets are available through Open Door Community Theatre or Aspire Music Academy.


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