Top Girls was an an interesting staged reading by students of UArts which examines what women must endure to be at the top of their field, not matter what the field is. Featuring an ensemble cast of 7 young women, historical figures are portrayed as well as contemporary characters. All of the young women, with the exception of Shannon Remley, who portrays Marlene, play at least two roles and adapt different accents to go along with them. The twist in the piece comes in the second act when the setting reverts back to one year prior to the present time. At various times in this piece, two or three characters are speaking at the same time, interrupting each other until on or more stops and there is ”one left standing.” This was very interesting to observe. It ensures that the audiences concentrate on the dialogue. This was very skillful directing by director Jackson Gay, a University of the Arts alum.
High Fidelity is a high energy contemporary musical with a 14 member cast directed by UArts alum Megan Nicole O’Brien. The largest role was played by Adam Hoyak who portrayed Rob. He’s a junior musical theater major who has performed with both a cabaret and a dance company. He is light on his feet and has a strong voice, which portends well for a career in musical theater. The male ensemble backed up his singing nicely. The five member female ensemble did a great job of singing on their own. The set changes are smoothly done and the “rewind technique" in the second act where the audience gets an opportunity to view three separate scenarios between Rob and his nemesis Ian is most effective. These UArts students do a very professional job with their performances. There are 7 more productions scheduled for their ambitious upcoming year, among them Chicago and Little Women. For tickets and information about their 2011-12 season, call 215-717-6450 or visit online at tickets.uarts.edu.