Armed with strong lungs and high kicks galore, Musical Theater Club brings a new dimension of talent to the stage of the Alice Austin Theatre this week, tantalizing audiences as they sing, dance and time warp their way through their spring season revue show, "MTC: In 3-D (Also Available in 2-D)."
Now, some may wonder how exactly a live show makes itself more 3-D than the laws of physics usually allow. Yet the members of MTC manage just this, in the most decidedly distinctive way possible - by incorporating the theme into skits and audience interactions that add layers of variety and charm into an already entertaining potluck of performances.
In fact, as far as MTC was concerned, the real theme of their show is variety. Popping against bold, brightly colored backdrops, the members of MTC dazzle and delight their way from power ballads and dance showpieces to light-hearted, hilarious ensemble works.
Beginning the whole shebang with an old school, high energy group performance, "Back in Business," MTC sets its standards high, and doesn't disappoint, continuing to flaunt its vocal chops as it moves from large groups to duets to small ensembles and back again. Yet, even amidst a sea of solid songs and solos, there were some pieces that truly stood out, with or without the 3-D glasses.
While MTC has no lack of magnificent performances, their rendition of The Beatles' song, "Because," is on a whole other level. Showcasing lovely dance skills and a flawless a cappella performance, this song is intimate, hauntingly beautiful and truly standing ovation-worthy.
That's not to say, though, that the other performances are slouches. Showing off MTC's sheer, raw vocal strength, the powerful ensemble ballad, "Become," was one of the highlights of the entire first act. Belting the fears and aspirations all college students face, the song is personal and absolutely stunningly executed.
Contrast this to the equally enjoyable ensemble work of "That's How You Know," from Enchanted, a fun, wonderfully performed piece featuring some of the most complex stage work in the show: it is easy to see, from just these examples, that the show is both fantastically done and richly, diversely talented.
The show has something for everyone, providing no shortage of laughs, tricks and vocal treats. While the vocals are great, however, it's in the laughs and the tricks that MTC really makes its mark. In true MTC fashion, the show is chock full of spoofs, lampooning anything from SUNY budget cuts, seen in "Choose Me, Oprah," to pop culture, in the hilariously well-sung Harry Potter-inspired rendition of Dreamgirls' "And I'm Telling You." Never before has Jennifer Holiday's song been so beautifully abused, and I loved every minute.
Sure, the show has a few problems here and there, the occasional sound balance issue and a technical malfunction or two, but these are minor complaints for a show that is so perfectly directed and performed.
Fun, well-done and featuring banana-related violence, MTC has it all, no matter the dimension in which it's viewed. The show, which is free of charge, runs from April 1 - 3 at 8 p.m. in the Alice Austin Theatre in Brodie Hall.