Last night, Christine and I went to BUSOM‘s winter showcase, ‘Meet Tony and Olivier’. BUSOM, if you remember, is the Bradford University Society of Operettas and Musicals; Christine has been a member for some time and I’ve helped behind the scenes on their shows – and even performed with them this year. A combination of Christine’s pregnancy and working on our house has meant we’ve not been able to take part in the show, so we were looking forward to seeing what the society had put together in our absence.
Their first show of the year is usually a ‘scratch’ show – a popular musical with most of the dialogue stripped out, so it’s mostly just the songs, and presented under a different title. This year, BUSOM decided to do a showcase – in essence, a concert of songs from popular musicals, but with lighting, (some) costumes and without scripts.
The theme, as you may have guessed from the title, is songs from musicals which have won Tony or Olivier awards. Opening with the Ballad of Sweeney Todd, and then progressing to ‘There! Right There!’ from Legally Blonde The Musical, and onwards through around 20 other songs, many of them familiar. Some were solos, some were ensemble pieces and others involved the whole chorus.
‘Your Fault’ from Sondheim’s Into The Woods, was particularly well-done – it’s a fast song with many different parts, and The Miller’s Son and No Good Dead were amongst two excellent solos. Speaking as someone who has worked alongside BUSOM’s members before, it was particularly pleasing to hear some of the more difficult songs being handled with such aplomb and how much the group’s singing abilities have improved. A couple of members put in by far their best performances yesterday.
Not every song was a complete success. The show ended with You Can’t Stop The Beat from Hairspray, which is a very fast-paced song and some of those singing the solo parts early on struggled. But all in all, it was a great show with a pleasingly large cast, including some established members and several new faces.
BUSOM’s next show is their major performance in the Spring – a production of Back To The Eighties. If you’re in the Bradford area, and would like to audition, these are the 1st and 3rd December, 7-10pm, and 12pm-3pm on the 6th December in the Student Activities Room, Student Central, at the university. No doubt I’ll be helping with the technical side again.