With strong vocals, fun and flashy choreography and plenty of pop culture-oriented humor, the Musical Theatre Club is sure to delight audiences; lighting up the stage of Wadsworth Auditorium this weekend in its spring revue, “MTC: Whodunnit?” The show’s theme, “Whodunnit,” is a complex, plot-driven detective story where the audience engages in the same process of deduction as the main characters. Though MTC doesn’t really have “main characters” in its revue per se, its entire ensemble is in one way or another trying to determine which member in the group is attempting to “sabotage the show.” The saboteur is a shadowy individual known as the “Phantom of the Austin,” referring to the Alice Austin Theatre.
Aside from the theme itself, the most noteworthy aspect of this particular performance is easily the size and influence of the club’s senior class. Seventeen out of the total 46 members of the performance ensemble are graduating at the end of this semester. This crew of larger than life personalities definitely imbues the show with an energy that’s impossible to duplicate.
“This senior class was really into the creative process,” MTC Treasurer senior Gabby Formica said. “We wanted to try to make [this show] a more cohesive performance rather than just a bunch of segregated segments that don’t interlace at all.”
This path toward improvement definitely shines through in the show. While past performances have been plagued with a noticeable lack of thematic continuity and an over-abundance of self-referential humor, MTC’s latest production effectively remedies those problem areas by including more readily recognizable characters and more consistent running gags throughout the performance. These adjustments definitely help make the show more accessible to those not as familiar with the group’s niche culture.
But that’s not to say that the club has entirely surrendered its former identity. There are still some scattered comedic moments within the overall performance. These are included more for the enjoyment and appreciation of the performance ensemble itself, the most prominent demonstration being the show’s “senior number” performed by the club’s graduating class. The song, an endearing cover of “This Is Our Story” from “Shrek the Musical,” speaks for itself and is rife with jokes and memories that represent what the club has come to stand for.
“It’s a great culmination of a lot of our senses of humor,” Formica said. “There are things that not everyone in the audience will understand – they’re just genuine memories of ours that we’ve shared over the past four years in MTC.”
Senior Nathan Trombley added, “It’s our last semester, [and our message is] ‘What do we want to leave this club with? What do we want to be remembered for?’ And that’s a pretty big theme in the whole show.”
“MTC: Whodunnit?” will run Friday April 18 and Saturday April 19 at 8 p.m. in Wadsworth Auditorium.u