Little Off Broadway performed a series of four shows Sept. 19-23. The audience was entertained with songs from old classics like “Mary Poppins” and newer works like “Dear Evan Hansen.” Also performed were offBroadway cinema hits like “Zootopia.”
Sadly, less than a week before the show was set to commence, one of the show’s longest and most entertaining ex-members, Marty Buschman, passed away unexpectedly. To honor his memory, the cast decided to begin the show with a slideshow highlighting some of Buschman’s best roles in past musicals.
Jacob Lester, another longtime member of the show and a close friend of Marty’s, used Buschman’s favorite phrase to open the show: “Crying children are like good intentions. They must be carried out.” It was obvious from the looks on cast members’ faces and the way the crowd reacted to the touching tribute that the community has lost a great man.
After that, the show opened with “This is the Greatest Show!” from “The Greatest Showman.” Following this opening number, Dylan Frehner sang a heart-wrenching rendition of “What Have I Done?” from “Les Miserables,” followed by the women of the cast donning their best flightattendant dresses to sing “Jet Set” from “Catch Me If You Can.”
Dressed in loincloths made from palm fronds, the male members of the cast sang Maui’s “You’re Welcome” from the popular Disney movie “Moana.” Gretchen Free and Caralee Frehner then took to the stage to sing “Alto’s Lament” from “Broken Broadway,” where two altos lament the fact that they always end up in the chorus and not in a solo.
Suddenly, the stage went dark and a handful of spooky glowing skeletons marched on stage dancing to a medley of songs. This addition to the show had been planned for two years and was a great success.
“Luck be a Lady” from “Guys and Dolls” was the next song to grace the stage, followed by “God Help the Outcasts” from “The Hunchback of Notre Dame.” Don Ficken sang “Marguerite” from the eponymous play, and then the group sang a lively rendition of “Step in Time” from “Mary Poppins,” closing out the first half of the show.
The second half started off just as promisingly with the entire cast performing “Cabaret,” followed by Jacob Lester and Anthony Poulsen giving their performance of “The Other Side,” once again from “The Greatest Showman.” “Try Everything” from “Zootopia,” was next on the list, followed by “So Big/So Small” from “Dear Evan Hansen,” sung by Marie Bleak.
The audience was then treated to the classic Disney staple “Hakuna Matata” and laughed as Andy Free and Jared Plunkett sang “Sisters” from “White Christmas.”
Audience participation was encouraged in the next number, “Always Look on the Brighter Side of Life” from “Spamalot,” and then Erin Pearson sang “I Can Hear the Bells” from “Hairspray.”
“You Will Be Found,” from “Dear Evan Hansen” was performed, followed by Nikki Carter’s rendition of “All That Matters” from “Finding Neverland.” Then the entire cast descended on the audience to sing the traditional closer, “One” from “A Chorus Line” and end the night.