The Oberlin Review

OMTA Musical Merrily Rolls Along with New Production

OMTA Musical Merrily Rolls Along with New Production

April 20, 2018

Oberlin Musical Theater Association is producing Stephen Sondheim’s Merrily We Roll Along as their spring semester musical — a show non-theater enthusiasts may recognize from its charming, dysfunctional portrayal in the recent film Lady Bird. The musical, which will continue into the weekend, is a story of friendship — specifically, the friendship between three creators — moving chronologically backwards. There’s Franklin Shepard, an aspiring composer turned movie producer; Charley Kri...

“Keep It Gay” Evokes LGBTQ+ Pride with Queer Music

Russell Jaffe, Staff Writer

March 2, 2018

Filed under ARTS, Theater & Film

Oberlin was dazzled by its newest Oberlin Musical Theater Association musical showcase, Keep It Gay, which ran last Thursday through Saturday under the direction of College junior Julia Peterson. The showcase featured a collection of musical songs that had been “queered” or were queer and both tore at heartstrings and invoked laughter. Peterson, along with assistant director and College first-year Mia Fox and co-music directors College sophomore Paul Lawrence and College junior Alex Ngo, organized the showcase as a celebration of queer identity, delivering an important reminder of the values that hold the Oberlin community together. As the cast pointedly sang in I Am What I Am, “It’s my song, and if you don...

OMTA’s “Assassins” Balances Levity, Seriousness

OMTA’s “Assassins” Balances Levity, Seriousness

April 28, 2017

When the legendary Stephen Sondheim and librettist John Weidman first debuted Assassins in 1990, it was one of the most controversial musicals in recent history. The musical compiles its character list from the select community of historical figures connected to the assassinations and attempted assassinations of U.S. presidents. Several easily recognizable characters include Lee Harvey Oswald, who shot and killed President John F. Kennedy in 1963; Samuel Joseph Byck, who attempted to hijack a 747 and ...

Flaharty’s Spring Awakening Ethereal, Relevant

Brendan Eprile, Staff Writer

December 9, 2016

Filed under ARTS, Dance, Music, Theater & Film

The Oberlin College Theater Department presented a stunning and poignant rendition of Spring Awakening over the weekend. The musical is an exploration of the emotional turmoil of teenage sexuality, love and angst. Despite its late 19th-century setting, several of the themes it addresses — such as abortion, sexual and domestic violence, depression and suicide — remain highly relevant to today’s social and political discourse. While the societal climate surrounding many of these issues has shifted drastically over the last century, the narrative still speaks to the persistence of violence and repression today and serves as a reminder of just how far from solved these issues are. The story’s emotional impact was enhance...

Spring Awakening Interrogates Taboo

Spring Awakening Interrogates Taboo

December 2, 2016

Oberlin Musical Theater Association presents Spring Awakening, a rock musical adapted for Broadway in 2006 from Frank Wedekind’s 1906 play of the same name. Controversial at the time due to its unflattering portrayal of late 19th century Germany, the play presents a powerful critique of a societal structure that insulates its young people from reality for their supposed protection. The story follows a cast of teenagers grappling with misinformation and taboos surrounding puberty and sexuality as wel...

OMTA Looks from Stage to Stars in “Fly By Night”

OMTA Looks from Stage to Stars in “Fly By Night”

November 18, 2016

Oberlin Musical Theatre Association’s rendition of the 2014 Off- Broadway musical Fly By Night raises questions of cosmic significance and the vicissitudes of fate. The production will take place in Wilder Main Space this weekend. The play’s narrative centers on Harold, a New York City sandwich maker played by College sophomore David Kaus; Daphne, an actress who wants to be a Broadway star, played by College first-year Talia Roland- Kalb; and Miriam, Daphne’s sister, played by College sophomore Sa...

Eosphoros, Durham Organize Villainous Halloween Showcase

Louise Edwards, Arts Editor

November 6, 2015

Filed under ARTS, Features, Theater & Film

During the opening act of Oberlin Musical Theater Association’s Villains Showcase, presented last Friday and Saturday in a Kahn Hall lounge, College junior Julia Redden threw open the doors of the closet she was hiding in and began belting “Miss Baltimore Crabs” from the musical Hairspray. As Velma Von Tussle, a racist and body-shaming producer, Redden introduced the night of villainy to follow. The Villains Showcase, a revival of a similar event from 2013, was envisioned as a way to get more people involved in musical theater on campus, especially those with little prior experience. Showcase co-director, College junior and the Review’s Online Editor Cyrus Alexander Eosphoros explained how the original Vill...

Urinetown’s Irreverent Humor Refreshes Somber Theater Scene

Phoebe Hammer, Arts Editor

April 25, 2014

Filed under ARTS, Theater & Film

Yes, there really is a musical called Urinetown, and yes, it is about pee. This weekend the Oberlin Musical Theater Association will be performing Mark Hollmann and Greg Kotis’s Tony Award-winning comedy in Wilder Main. Directed by College senior Aaron Palmer, the production is poised to generate laughs and, at times, disgust. Urinetown takes place in an undisclosed city besieged by a 20-year drought. In an attempt to regulate water consumption, the city has outlawed the use of private toilets, forcing the citizens to use public payper-use facilities owned by the Urine Good Company, an evil corporation run by Caldwell B. Cladwell, played by Conservatory junior DeRon McDaniel. A brutal police force maintains order, ...

The ‘Godspell’ According to OMTA

The ‘Godspell’ According to OMTA

February 21, 2014

Conversations about faith are risky at Oberlin. Beliefs vary widely, and many students completely reject organized religion. Considering this sometimes uncertain religious climate, the high attendance at the Oberlin Musical Theater Association’s production of Godspell, a musical based entirely on New Testament gospels, was unexpected — but not undeserved. Regardless of belief, the energetic but sometimes overpowered cast successfully staged a play that left most members of the audience with s...

Cabaret Succeeds on Every Front

Sarah Westbrook, Staff Writer

May 3, 2013

Filed under ARTS, Theater & Film

In the Oberlin Musical Theater Association’s production of Cabaret, which ran in Wilder Main from April 25 through 27, director and College junior Hayes Biche led his cast and crew in a beautiful, engaging and incisively acted version of the classic musical; everything from the use of a pit orchestra to the choreography impressed. Cabaret is set in the 1930s and tells the story of young Cliff Bradshaw, played by College junior William Hofmann, who travels to Berlin for the first time with his portable typewriter and dreams of being a famous novelist. He meets the star cabaret dancer Sally Bowles, played by College senior Nona Brown, at the Kit Kat Club. Their whirlwind romance forms the core of the rest of the pla...

Into the Woods A Fun, Fairytale Romp

Julian Ring, Staff Writer

December 14, 2012

Filed under ARTS, Theater & Film

Since its 1987 debut, Into the Woods has remained the best way to condense all the Brothers Grimm fairytales into one production. Whether for convenience’s sake or because of its widespread acclaim, the most famous of Stephen Sondheim’s later works has graced major stages from Broadway to West End and back again. College sophomore Monica Hunter-Hart and Oberlin Musical Theater Association took the show on a slight detour from its usual run last weekend in Wilder Main, adapting the adventures of the show’s nearly 20 characters for a cottage-sized theater. Quality notwithstanding, the fact that this behemoth bramble-romp went off without any histrionic collisions is a feat unto itself. Yet, while the music an...

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