It’s always a good time when you pack a small venue with Atlanta theatre patrons, performers, and friends. Throw in some Broadway songs, and you’ve got a rockin’ night.
Last Saturday, the Atlanta Lyric Theatre presented their ’18-’19 Season Announcement Party, an intimate evening of cabaret performances held at the Lyric Studio Theatre (one of the billion theatres on the Marietta Square). Hosted by Lyric artistic director Mary Nye Bennett, the show featured performances from many Atlanta theatre favorites including Chase Peacock, Jessica De Maria, and more.
Mary welcomed the audience by expressing her love for the community feeling of the Atlanta Lyric Theatre, saying, “What I love about the Lyric is getting to know our subscribers as friends, not just patrons.” She proved this by personally addressing multiple guests she spotted at tables around the room.
Though the nominal purpose of the evening was to reveal the Lyric’s next season of musicals, Mary warned us that she planned to draw out the suspense, a la Ryan Seacrest on American Idol. She called that a dated reference, but I appreciated it.
The first act included performances from what’s left of the Lyric’s current season: Dirty Rotten Scoundrels, Always… Patsy Cline, and Tarzan, rolling out the season reveal in Act 2 using medleys from each show. And it was definitely worth waiting for! Next season will include: Aida, Newsies, The Wedding Singer, Singin’ in the Rain, and Oliver!
The biggest surprise of the evening was when Mary welcomed the Aurora Theatre’s Ann-Carol Pence and Anthony Rodriguez on stage to announce that Newsies will be a Lyric/Aurora co-production next summer. Honestly at this point I think we’re all ridiculously on board with any Atlanta theatre collaborations the fam wants to throw at us (see: Memphis 2015, In the Heights 2016, and The Hunchback of Notre Dame 2017).
Check out highlights from the performances below!
“Walkin’ After Midnight” from Always… Patsy Cline. Performed by Mary Nye Bennett (who is not playing the role in the show but is awesome nonetheless).
“Strangers Like Me” from Tarzan. Performed by Chase Peacock and J. Koby Parker (also not necessarily playing these roles in the Lyric’s production, as Mary said they had just finished up auditions).
“Everything I Am” from Tarzan. Performed by Chase Peacock.
“Every Story” from Aida. Performed by Adrianna Trachell, Alison Wilholt, and Jessica De Maria.
“Fortune Favors the Brave” from Aida. Performed by Fenner Eaddy, Chase Peacock, Haden Rider, J. Koby Parker, and George Deavours.
“A Step Too Far” from Aida. Performed by Jessica De Maria, Fenner Eaddy, and Adrianna Trachell.
“Easy as Life” from Aida. Performed by Adrianna Trachell.
After the Aida performances, I heard the woman in front of me say to her friend, “You have no idea what it’s like just from this music! It’s so good! It’s going to knock your socks off!”
Not captured: that moment when the Newsies poster appeared on the screen, and the whole audience lost it.
“Carrying the Banner” from Newsies. Performed by Chase Peacock, Haden Rider, J. Koby Parker, Fenner Eaddy, George Deavours, Alison Wilholt, Adrianna Trachell, and Jessica De Maria.
“Santa Fe” from Newsies. Performed by our favorite Quasimodo, Haden Rider.
“Something to Believe In” from Newsies. Performed by Chase Peacock and Jessica De Maria.
“It’s Your Wedding Day” from The Wedding Singer. Performed by Alison Wilholt, J. Koby Parker, and company.
“Someday” from The Wedding Singer. Performed by J. Koby Parker and Alison Wilholt.
“Grow Old with You” from The Wedding Singer. J. Koby Parker and Alison Wilholt.
“Singin’ in the Rain” from Rent. Jokes. It’s from Singin’ in the Rain. But I almost had you fooled, right? Performed by Chase Peacock.
No video because live-Tweeting called, but next was “You Were Meant for Me” from Singin’ in the Rain. Performed by Fenner Eaddy.
“Good Mornin'” from Singin’ in the Rain. Performed by Adrianna Trachell, Haden Rider, and J. Koby Parker.
“Oom-Pah-Pah” from Oliver! Performed by the company.
“You’ve Got to Pick a Pocket or Two” from Oliver! Performed by George Deavours.
“As Long as He Needs Me” from Oliver! Performed by Jessica De Maria.
And how could they end the night with any encore but the rousing “Seize the Day” from Newsies? I’m living for how much the ladies are living for this song.
STREAMERS!! Mary Nye Bennett turned to me after the song, streamer cannon still in hand, and excitedly asked, “Did you get the streamers on your video?!”