After attending the Broadway-themed cabaret show of Gotta Dream by Class Productions Theatre Society, I was feeling pretty happy. Last Friday, Class Productions showcased this event in UTM’s MiST Theatre. With their consistent humour and family-friendly entertainment, the cast grabbed my attention the whole night.
Class Productions Theatre Society is a theatre group based in Mississauga that provides family-friendly shows to the community. Last week’s show was far from a disappointment. Broadway-themed performances such as “Belle,” “I Can Cook Too,” and “God I Hate Shakespeare,” kept the audience fully invested throughout the night.
The event starred Rosemary Brown, Phyllis Dougherty, Alan Johnstone, Linda Johnstone, Robert Johnstone, Isabelle Ma, Aurora McClennan, Cheryl McClennan, Scarlett McClennan, and Phuong Nguyen. The evening provided a glimpse into past and recent Broadway productions. The songs were categorized according to either the shows they originated from or common themes they shared.
Act 1 kicked off with “Belle,” a song from the Broadway production of Beauty and the Beast. Following this piece, the act divided into four parts: “On the Town,” “Will Power,” “Matilda,” and “Just Be.” I found “On the Town” to be especially entertaining due to the songs performed. The two songs in this section were “Come up to my Place,” and “I Can Cook Too.” The cast also performed the classic, “New York, New York,” which became a worldwide hit through Frank Sinatra.
The next set of performances were from “Will Power,” a category dedicated to the works of Shakespeare himself. “Will Power” began with “God I Hate Shakespeare.” This act comes from the production of Something Rotten, a story based on the Bottom brothers, who failed to succeed at their theatrical work due to their successful rival, Shakespeare. One actor played the role of Nick Bottom, while others around him marveled at Shakespeare’s plays.
Other performances given from “Will Power” included “I Hate Men,” and “Where is the Life That Late I Led,” both from Kiss Me Kate. Although I’d never heard of Kiss Me Kate prior to this event, these two performances were my favourite in the whole production.
The third category of Act 1 was “Matilda,” a production currently on tour in Toronto. The brief introduction given for this section stated that the performances are a modernized version of the classic tale. This modernity was evident through the contemporary costumes worn by the performers in each song. “Loud,” for instance, focused on the idea that looks are more important than intelligence. While the costumes were a modern depiction of beauty, the choreography was still suitable to Matilda’s initial generation. This act was an excellent coordination of different moments in time. “When I Grow Up,” was another strong performance. The song describes the wishes of young children to grow old so they can be free from their parents and rules.
The final category, “Just Be,” presented the idea of acceptance, both towards yourself and others. Performances from this category included “We Are What We Are,” from La Cage Aux Follies. This song represented crossdressing males and exemplified acceptance towards this practice. There was also “Not my Father’s Son” from Kinky Boots, which shared a darker, more realistic view of the lives of many people in the LGBTQ community. This song describes a young boy who knows his father would disapprove of his crossdressing if he found out. The song featured this struggle and the emotional turmoil of being rejected from your family, simply for being yourself.
The final song in this section was “Just Be,” also from Kinky Boots. This song presented the notion that not everyone is equal. Some people stand out from the crowd, but they should still be accepted for their individuality. This performance truly highlighted the pride and courage of the LGBTQ community.
Act 2 of the evening featured one category, titled “Wild, Wild West.” This section offered performances from several different shows, each set in the Wild West of America. All the performances provided insight into the shaping of American history. My personal favourite from this category was “Old Fashioned Wedding” from Annie Get Your Gun. This section also featured acts from the renowned Oklahoma, including “Kansas City,” “All Er Nothin,” and “Oklahoma.”
The Broadway-themed performances given by the Class Productions Theatre Society stirred my newfound interest in the Broadway community. The evening was inspirational and a pleasure to watch.