The Circle Theatre website
The Cast: Maddie Blyvis, Stephen Grey, Molly Jones, Jeremiah Postma
The Band: Scott Patrick Bell, Bob Rhutvin, Pat Handlin, Sam Parks, Matt Young
Technical: Bob McLaughlin, Mark Neaumann
Other articles by the same author
A few Mondays ago, Aquinas College's Circle Theatre hosted an event quite different than the average musical. Indeed it had music, dance and theatrics in abundance but instead of a play, the troupe, dubbed "Let It Be," performed popular tunes from The Beatles with selections covering their musical career. The group consisted of a five piece band and four additional singers (two fellas and two gals) who specialized in musical theater.
The performance ran just shy of two hours and provided the audience with a palette of emotions, with happy-go-lucky tunes such as HELP! transitioning into darker tunes such as Eleanor Rigby (which, I might add, gave me the chills) as well as an inspirational solo a cappella rendition of Blackbird from one of the ladies.
In addition to top notch vocal skills, the crew had energy and theatrics to boot. The four piled into their invisible ride and went on a trip for Drive My Car, and prancing around the stage was the norm for the more up-beat tunes. With up to six part harmonies on some of the songs (members of the band could sing as well), there was no shortage of entertaining arrangements of the tunes many have grown up listening to.
Let It Be stayed true to the style of The Beatles for the most part, but with so many more members of the group they were able to add harmonic embellishments that the Fab Four were not capable of (not to mention having female vocalists). The size of the group and the abilities of all the members distanced this show from other cover bands playing The Beatles. They were not simply playing through the familiar songs, but made a performance out of it, leaving the entire audience breathless at the end, eager to give a standing ovation.
"We aren't an ongoing band and this show is limited to three performances," says one singer, Jeremiah Postma. "We aren't exhausted from touring or doing this as our job so every night has been a blast! All of us are friends and I feel like this enjoyment is evident in the performance. We are there doing what we love and we just like sharing that with people." I certainly agree with Jeremiah that their enjoyment was clear, and that energy transferred to the audience with ease.
The Circle Theatre is set up like many made for theatrics. The seating is 180 degrees around the stage, and the audience looks down on the performance. It is all reserved seating, but I must be honest, I was in the back with plenty of space for (modest) dancing. The acoustics were amazing and there was no need to strain to hear over patrons like at many "rock" concerts. There is one remaining performance from of Let It Be, September 17th. More information as well as other Circle Theatre event information can be found on their website.
Hey, my names Adrian! I am a broadcasting student at GVSU and love live music-from the performance to the culture. I enjoy promoting regional events on my facebook page "Adrian Skye", a fledgeling music forum and home of my radio personality contact. If you have an event feel free to post it on there and I will check it out. I also am a programmer at community radio WYCE E/O Saturday 3-6 and try to promote events there so hopefully between the Rapidian, WYCE, and my facebook radio programmer page, I can share all that I have the energy to. Cheers.
Reports on: Music, Events, Life