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FairfaxNewsAfter 3-year absence, the show goes on in McLean

After 3-year absence, the show goes on in McLean

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McLean Community Players is back after a three-year hiatus and will hit the Alden Theatre’s stage July 22 to 24 with “The Show Must Go On! A Musical Revue.”

The effort features an array of songs from past productions and shows the company hopes to perform in the future.

“We need to come out, tell people we’re still here,” said Michael Replogle, who is co-directing the production with Jess Rawls. “We wanted to do something that wasn’t going to cost us an arm and a leg.”

Act 1 of the cabaret-style show will feature songs from previous MCP shows, while the second act will contain more contemporary material, he said.

Replogle, who in 2012 directed MCP’s “Legally Blonde,” said the cabaret format lets the company put a different spin on familiar songs. Arranging them in coherent fashion is something of an art, and Replogle said he likes for numbers to end on up notes.

“You don’t want to listen to four sad songs in a row,” he said. “You try and start your show with something that’s interesting. You want to do a big number that introduces the audience to your entire cast, then a ballad, then a duet. You don’t want to bum your audience out.”

Among songs audiences can anticipate will be “Try to Remember” (from “The Fanasticks”), “Don’t Cry for Me Argentina” (from “Evita”), “Sound of Music” (from the eponymous show) and “Popular” (from “Wicked”).

Sets will be minimal and the vocalists, backed by a pianist, bass player and drummer, will perform near the audience on the stage’s apron, Replogle said.

The show’s vocalists will include Shakil Azizi, Luke Jackins, Jennifer Levy, Caroline McQuaig, Tori Miller, Josie Morgan, Brooke Nyren, PJ Pavot, Jennifer Soraya Rose, George Edward Willis and Shelby Young.

Jennifer Levy will perform “As Long as He Needs Me” (from “Oliver!”) and “The Ladies Who Lunch” (from “Company”) and in multiple ensemble numbers.
Levy joined MCP in 2006 as a cast member in “Born Yesterday” and was active with troupe until 2018, performing in musicals and non-musical shows, doing backstage work, co-producing “13” and “Harvey,” and serving on the board of directors.

“This upcoming production is special because it showcases some of the best numbers from MCP’s long history of memorable musical productions, along with a number of very entertaining songs from contemporary shows that may not be as familiar to our audience,” Levy said.

“‘The Show Must Go On!’ presents a wonderful collection of songs that gives each member of this very talented cast many opportunities to shine,” she added. “Each song has a unique story to tell, and the cabaret format allows for the appreciation of those stories.”

Vocalist Jennifer Soraya Rose previously appeared as the Cat in the Hat in MCP’s 2019 production of “Seussical” and during “The Show Must Go On!” will perform “Being Alive” (from “Company”) and “Breathe” (from “In the Heights”), in addition to group numbers.

Co-director Replogle “has a really good vision for this show,” she said. “The cast gets along well, and I hope to invoke strong emotions from the audience while performing ‘Being Alive’ and ‘Breathe.’ I could not be more excited.”

The company had not been able to perform at the Alden Theatre in 2019 because of renovations, then was sidelined by the pandemic for the subsequent two seasons.

• • •

Shows will be on Friday and Saturday at 8 p.m. and Sunday at 2 p.m. at the McLean Community Center’s Alden Theatre, 1234 Ingleside Ave.
For tickets and information, see the Website at www.mcleanplayers.org.

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