Taking their show on the digital road for the first time, Silhouette Stages celebrates the theatre’s past 17 years with the New Ways to Dream, streaming through December 6, 2020. A look back at their 47 productions, this showcase is clearly a labor of love for all involved.
This production is truly a fitting showcase of community theatre in action…once again proves the resilience and ingenuity of theatre artists and their ability to offer moments of joy…
“At Home with Silhouette Stages: New Ways to Dream” features new performances, archived highlights, and a genial host, Matt Wetzel, recognizable from various stage appearances over the years. As a community theatre for Howard County, Maryland, Silhouette decided to move online like so many theatres due to the global pandemic. The new performances were all produced from the actors’ homes — socially distanced, of course.
The overarching theme of this special event was hope — something everyone could use a healthy dose of right now. We might even need an overdose. I would say spending some time with the Silhouette performers will provide a very healthy dose of joy and a smile or two.
Between performances, old and new, former cast members shared memories from past shows. These moments are more difficult to sell to the folks at home since we weren’t onstage or backstage when the stories happened. But the sentiments expressed certainly land, and the stories are, in fact, very amusing and certainly heartfelt.
Host Matt Wetzel kicked the evening off introducing an excerpt from Young Frankenstein, “Together Again for the First Time,” with hilarious performances by Jeremy Goldman as Dr. Frankenstein and Wetzel as Igor — “pronounced Eye-gor.” From there, the performances were interspersed with moments of the company’s history, anecdotes, and full-on performances from their past shows.
Archived performances include “All I Care About is Love” from Chicago, featuring company founder Mo Dutterer as the warbling lawyer Billy Flynn. A musical number from The Addams Family, featured Vincent Musgrave as Gomez Addams and Santina Maiolatesi as Morticia, along with the ensemble as the Addams ancestors, showing off the Tommy Malek’s lively choreography.
Other past productions run the gamut from Anything Goes (“Take Me Back to Manhattan”) to Godspell (“Beautiful City”) and Rent (“Santa Fe”), featuring such performers as Robyn Bloom and Jamar Brown.
Special mention must be made to Ron Israel as the archival videographer, and director/editor, Tommy Malek, for smoothly putting together the live performances with the older footage and productions stills. The onstage and behind the scenes shots should bring back fond memories from performers and supporters alike.
The new performances began with “Soon as I Get Home” from The Wiz, sung by Taylor J. Washington who brought a soulful performance with a wonderful voice to the screen. Samantha Yakaitis used her expressive voice to great advantage on “In My Dreams” from Anastasia.
Host Wetzel was joined remotely by Robert Gudauskas to render the celebratory duet from Grand Hotel, “We’ll Raise a Glass Together.” Additional new performances were provided by Katelyn Clay, Alex Peças, Samantha McEwen Deininger, and Lucy Bobbin.
The special event’s title is taken from a song in Andrew Lloyd Webber’s musical, Sunset Boulevard. In one of the event’s last, new performances, veteran performer, Cathy Mundy, brought the proverbial house down with a rendition of another song from this dramatic musical, “As If We Never Said Goodbye.”
Rounding out the evening of memories and music, Justin Diaz and the guest vocalists performed the tear-inducing anthem from Dear Evan Hansen, “You Will Be Found.”
This production is truly a fitting showcase of community theatre in action, even during the Covid-19 restrictions, this online event once again proves the resilience and ingenuity of theatre artists and their ability to offer moments of joy even as we cannot gather in a traditional theatre space for the time being. Just like the closing song from Avenue Q mentions, staying in isolation is “for now.” One day soon, we all can hope to rejoin each other, even if we are distanced and masked, and sit down in a darkened theatre for some heartfelt performances by some wonderful artists. You can get a taste of what you’re missing now by sharing some time with Silhouette Stages.
Running Time: One hour and 32 minutes with one intermission.
Advisory: The event is suitable for audience members of all ages.
“At Home with Silhouette Stages: New Ways to Dream,” a digital showcase event, is available free with a digital ticket. Click here for access and ticket details. Donations are accepted (and encouraged) but not required. The production will be available until Sunday, December 6, 2020 at 7 p.m.