Loyola students will make the evening a “A Grand Night for Singing”

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While other students spend the evening studying for upcoming exams, the cast of the Loyola theatre department’s season opener is preparing for different type of night: “A Grand Night for Singing.”

A revue of Richard Rodgers and Hammerstein II’s Broadway hits, “A Grand Night for Singing,” will debut the theatre department’s new degree program, a B.A. in theatre arts and musical theatre.

A dynamic duo, Rodgers and Hammerstein have produced the classic Broadway hits Oklahoma!, Carousel, South Pacific, The King and I and The Sound of Music. It will run Sep. 25 through Oct. 3 in the Lower Depths Theatre.

Tickets are priced at $12 general admissions and $8 for students, seniors and children.

To once again fulfill his love for the stage, Jake Gomrick, music industry studies senior, decided to return to the stage theatrically for the first time in his college career to perform in the upcoming revue.

“The show is a celebration of the two most prolific music writers in early American Musical Theatre” Gormick said. “There is no specific plot. The show feels more like a cabaret than a musical, but it really gives you a great picture of this amazing composer/lyricist duo.”

Fellow performer Hannah Jacuzzi, theatre arts junior, was attracted to the show’s compilation of Rodgers and Hammerstein’s work as well.

“I auditioned for this show for many reasons” Jacuzzi said. “The productions Rogers and Hammerstein created together are in a league of their own. The music is timeless and alternately passionate and hysterical.”

Jacuzzi said that despite missing a specific plot, the show relays a theatrical undertone that explains the ups and downs of love.

“I grew up listening to the songs and watching the musicals come to life. I was not about to let the opportunity to be apart of one pass me by,” Jacuzzi said. “I was also excited by the opportunity to work with Patrick and Ken who are, in my completely unbiased opinion, the best directing duo this production could hope for.”

Patrick Gendusa, extraordinary professor for the department of theatre arts and dance, will be directing the show. He said he is proud to present his talented cast of Loyola students.

“This cast is amazing, probably the strongest cast vocally we have had at Loyola. The music is gorgeous and these arrangements are terrific,” Gendusa said.

Jacuzzi also recognizes the talent she has shared the stage with in the mere four weeks of rehearsal time.

“This cast impresses me with their talent and creativity every night,” Jacuzzi said. “I cannot wait to open the show, so more people can experience the joy and excitement this cast brings to the stage.”

Gendusa is certain that “A Grand Night for Singing” is an excellent reason to tune out of the humdrum of everyday life for a moment.

“Everyone needs an escape from the daily stress of life. This show is the perfect escape. You will leave the theatre a happier person than when you walked in,” Gendusa said.

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Hannah Jacuzzi, a theater junior, (left) Charis Gullage, a musical theater freshman, (middle) and Cailyn OHara (right), a musical theater freshman, rehearse songs acapella for the production of A Grand Night for Singing. A Grand Night for Singing premieres on September 25th at 7:30 at the Lower Depths Theater. Photo credit: Rodriana Edwards

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