MTC brings high energy showtunes to Alice Austin

Musical Theatre Club's fall revue "LIVE! It's MTC!" is taking over the Alice Austin Theatre this week, providing their many fans with the tongue-in-cheek musical entertainment that brings such overwhelming crowds to their events.  

MTC kicked off their show with "Live in Living Color" from "Catch Me If You Can," a visually dazzling piece featuring groups of performers blocked out in various color groups. They followed this with the endearingly dorky "Notice me, Horton" from "Seussical the Musical."

The show really got going with "The Rhythm of Life" from "Sweet Charity," in which several performers pretended to be a coin-operated dance machine. They came to life a few at a time until they were all moving with clockwork synchronization across the stage. The song itself featured incredible harmonies and layered sections only paralleled by the choreography.

The titular song of Green Day's musical "American Idiot" followed "Rhythm of Life." The pulse-pounding vocals, incredible costumes and visceral red lighting complemented the hard-hitting, percussive dancing. It was easily the most raw and powerful performance in the show and featured the entire MTC ensemble.

"The Worst Pies in London" from "Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street" was given a Geneseo twist as dancers with trays lamented "the worst food on campus."

The traditional new kids' number was "Two by Two" from "The Book of Mormon," a cute arrangement in which the performers were assigned in pairs to promote the group in different residence halls.  

After "Two by Two," some of the older members of MTC brought back the new kids for a delightfully twisted rendition of "Ten Little Indians" from "Bloody Bloody Andrew Jackson" in which they fantasized about the new members dying one by one.

Act one closed with a two-part performance by the women of MTC, who performed "My Strongest Suit" from "Aida" in which they decided that, since one is always most attractive when comfortable, they should go to the Inn Between in their pajamas.

The men countered with "Suit Song" from "How I Met Your Mother's" musical episode – a hilarious homage to formal dress that brought an unprecedented level of class to Geneseo.

The second act opened with "America" From "West Side Story" with lyrics adapted by MTC. It was followed by a four-person performance of cult hit "Alto's Lament" by Zina Goldrich and Marcy Heisler, which mashed together alto parts in famous musicals as the altos begged for the chance to sing the melody.

"Easy Street" from "Annie" was adapted to a partial chair number in which students tried to convince their more conservative classmates to cheat with the answer key their professor dropped.

A highlight of the second act was a technically precise and eerily demented performance of "Money" from "Cabaret." The vocals were understated enough to be unsettling, and the choreography was artfully disjointed and creepy. The wonderfully disturbing number was followed by a hilarious performance of "Can't Take My Eyes off You" by Frankie Valli, in which the men dragged an audience member onstage and competed for the chance to seduce her.

A straight rhythm piece inspired by "Stomp" featured tap dancers creating additional beats with their textbooks and pencils before transitioning smoothly and skillfully into an energetic step number.  

After a slightly unpolished performance of "You're the One that I Want" from "Grease," a few dancers and singers took the stage for an emotionally resonant version of "Rising Up," from "See What I Wanna See." The dancers displayed exceptional prowess in executing the difficult choreography and the singers accompanied them with equal skill.

The show closed with "The Song of the Dead Fairy" from "Darling," an energetic number that exploded out into the audience and immersed them in sound.

MTC will run from Nov. 17-19 with performances at 8 p.m. The show is free and seats are on a first-come, first-served basis.