Divas and Idols Hits Highs and Lows

Divas and Idols; Broadway Meets Rock is another Edmonton Musical Theatre production that provides snapshots into a diverse range of characters lives as they intersect in a small-town diner in Ontario.

The show opens with a lively number that quickly introduces the characters and their dreams and aspirations. From there the only slow-down is the ever-persistent bus driver bearing bad news, and the throaty Rita Bradley (played by Susan Rasko) who tempers the New York-bound with tales of the highs and lows of the Big Apple. A particular high note was the “Michael Jackson Medley” which had the audience swinging and clapping along with the cast.

While the show does occasionally hit pauses, and some numbers seemed to take a while for the cast to “get into,” the musical was done well, overall. My only real complaint is surrounding the moments when Chrissy (played by Jocelyn Anselmo) acted a little too much like arm candy, as opposed to the diva Chrissy she wants to become. Additionally, while the well-choreographed and high-energy dance numbers make this musical an enjoyable event for anyone who loves the musical form, if you are the type of Fringe-goer looking for an involved narrative, try looking elsewhere.

Edmonton Musical Theatre’s pianist accompanies the show and does a fantastic job providing a diverse and lively soundtrack to all of the show’s songs. Given that he also plays the music for Edmonton Musical Theatre’s It’s a Hard Knock Life, I am truly impressed by his talent. Other talented cast members include the expressive Lisa Brownie (who has a beautiful voice), rich-toned Kingsley Leung, energetic Davy Damo, and dynamic Jocelyn Anselmo.

Divas and Idols; Broadway Meets Rock runs at BYOV 36: Edmonton Musical Theatre Studio. Showtimes are August 18 at 9:00, August 20 at 6:30, and August 21 at 8:00.

-Jenna Marynowski

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