SMITHFIELD – Sad to say, the All Together Now! concert by the Four Seasons Theatre Company and the Sky View High School Drama Department here on Friday was a one-night stand.
I could have happily sat through that musical review over and over again, all weekend long.
In a word, All Together Now! was a fabulous show.
After all, what’s not to like? The flexible score from Music Theatre International (MTI) gave co-directors Afton Whitney and Jon Rash the option of picking the best 15 tunes from any of 33 musicals to be performed by the cream of the crop from an amazingly talented pool of adult and high school vocalists.
Under those circumstances, what could go wrong? And nothing did, except that the show felt like it should have been about an hour longer.
Director Rash opened the concert with a heartfelt tenor rendition of “Pure Imagination” from the musical Charlie and the Chocolate Factory that set a high standard for quality.
Not to be outdone, Ms. Whitney followed-up with a wistful performance of the ballad “Back to Before” from Ragtime.
In one respect, All Together Now! was even more satisfying than watching an actual performance of some of the musicals licensed by MTI. Take Annie, for example. Too often the youthful actress in the title role of that show can’t really do justice to the musical’s anthem “Tomorrow.” But Katie Ludlow really belted out that familiar tune on Friday evening.
Another strong point for the concert was that it offered a blend of music from shows as recent as the Canadian musical Come from Away (2015) all the way back to the much-performed classic Godspell (1971).
The moods of the songs ranged from somber in the case of “She Used to be Mine” from Waitress (beautifully performed by the always memorable Lauren Sidwell) to wildly comic when Taylor Griffith, Abbie Hunsaker, Jeremiah Olsen and the Sky View student ensemble turned “Supercalifragilisticexoialidocious” from Mary Poppins into a madcap spelling bee.
The show’s most dramatic moments came when the incomparable Sara Huff performed “Children Will Listen” from Into the Woods and young Erica Talbot led the student ensemble in singing “The Human Heart” from Once Upon This Island. Both of those performances literally gave me chills.
If I were determined to find fault with something about All Together Now!, I could only say that the gifted vocalists were so focused on keeping the show moving at a rapid pace that few of them stayed on stage long enough after their performances to accept the amount of applause that they richly deserved.