Get a kick out of 'My Way'

Liz Stephens
The University News

Nat Chandler
In a sentimental musical revue, "My Way," at the American Heartland Theatre (AHT), the stage pays tribute to Frank Sinatra's lifetime of kicks. Under the direction of Missy Koonce, Sinatra's classics unfold thematically, following his life in a melodious narrative.

Resident musical director, conductor and pianist Anthony T. Edwards' jazz combo of four backs up the singing and dancing cast, who take the audience on a journey through Sinatra's memorable tunes.

The show as pictures of Ol' Blue Eyes appear on a screen above the stage. The next numbers are upbeat songs in which the whole cast partakes in Frank favorites. Choreography by Cindy Layton enhances the lyrics with graceful dancing.

Christina Marie Norrup not only has a beautiful voice but also dance moves, especially showcased in the second act. Her tender performance opens the Broadway Medley series. She comes from a background of several Broadway credits, including the original cast of "The Producers."

Nat Chandler has also been seen on Broadway in the title role of Sir Percival Blakeney in the Tony Award-nominated musical "The Scarlet Pimpernel." He and Terrence Charles Rodgers, who was last seen as Adrian in "Smokey Joe's Café," perform a tap dance duet in the first act.

The first act closes with songs thematically grouped about falling in love. Adams sings a humorous duet but later emotes beautifully. Adams returns to AHT after having last appeared as Sister Amnesia in "Nuncrackers" during the 2001 holiday season.

Loser's Medlies appropriately open up the second act as many audience members returned with cocktails from intermission. The lighting design by Shane Rowse effectively fits the nostalgic mood.

The second act builds to the last grouping, Songs for Survivors, which brings enthusiastic applause. The ensemble toasts Sinatra with champagne to appropriately end the journey.

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