At the Ballet II
Ron Cunningham, Artistic Director for the Sacramento Ballet, welcomed the audience to the Sacramento Ballet studios, thanking the Stewart brothers, Alex and Tim, for putting on the fundraising event. A packed house eagerly awaited the start of the year’s last performance of “At the Ballet II.”
The few audience members in the house that were expecting a ballet performance were quickly made aware that this was going to be a musical extravaganza. The Found Space Theatre Production presented “At the Ballet II: Louder, Faster, Funnier!” to benefit the Sacramento Ballet. Alex and his brother Tim began to formulate a musical somewhat like a Broadway revue.
The result of the Stewart brothers’ venture was last year’s “At the Ballet: A Musical Revue!” The musical caught the eye of Ron Cunningham and Carinne Binda and granted Alex and Tim Stewart the opportunity to create a sequel. The Stewarts created an original script similar to their first show, but this time it was “Louder, Faster, Funnier!”
Alex Stewart is co-director of the show with his older brother Tim. Alex participates in At the Ballet II as a producer, director, choreographer and performer. He is also currently a trainee with the Sacramento Ballet and will return as an apprentice next year.
Tim Stewart currently attends California State University, Sacramento and is majoring in Theater and Deaf Studies. Together with his brother Alex, they run Found Space Theatre Productions. The talented Stewart brothers brought their charm, comedy, song and dance talents to the Sacramento Ballet studios this weekend for several performances. Tim, like his brother, is also director, producer, performer and choreographer of this production.
James Hernandez serves as the Vocal Director and Mark Ferreira is the Music Director. The cast consists of the Stewart brothers, Ruby Brungess, Ryan Blanning, Stephanie Zito, Krystle Jong, Sean Patrick Nill, Taylor Grossman, Olivia Hughes, Urias Davis and Brik Middlekauff. Behind the performers, Mark Ferreira played the piano, Alfonso Portella played drums and Aaron Krimetz accompanied the musical band on the bass.
As the show started, the performers took up seats in front of the band players and the guests were welcomed.
“Thank you for coming to our last performance at the Sacramento Ballet, find us at Facebook, like us at Facebook, or whatever you do on Facebook and be sure to keep your eyes open for our next performance.”
As soon as that was said, the full cast started off with “Another Openin’/Comedy Tonight,” setting the stage of what was to come.
Reminiscent of a Broadway musical, the cast showed off their singing talents, from the opening song to Krystle Jong’s solo of “The Alto’s Lament.” The range of their voices showed significant rehearsals and obvious prior involvement in musicals. It also showcased the casting talents of the show’s producers.
“Mama Says” included half the cast and was followed by two solos, Taylor Grossman performing “100 Easy Ways to Lose a Man” and Stephanie Zito singing “Taylor the Latte Boy.” These performances continued to showcase the talents of the writers, as comedy had become a large part of the performances.
Audience laughter became more prevalent as the evening’s performance continued, delighting and entertaining audience members young and old. The talent of the cast as a whole brought dance, song, comedy and acting together for a delightful evening of entertainment. After “One Night Only,” Act I came to a close.
Tim Stewart came out during intermission to sell raffle tickets. As tickets were being sold, audience members purchased more tickets that supported the Sacramento Ballet. Tim made one last call and then a little girl came up to select the winning ticket. (I did not win).
Act II brought Taylor Grossman and Olivia Hughes singing the duet “Secondary Characters,” followed by the full cast performing “December 1963 (Oh What a Night!),” once again showcasing the dynamic diversity of cast members as they danced and sang.
As the evening progressed, it was clear that the time spent in rehearsals paid off as the cast performed each song with gusto to the enjoyment of the audience. The young cast members put forth graceful performances from beginning to end. Their songs covered a full gamut of stories, from friendship to jealousy, love and romance to deliveries and pizza.
Players in this performance seemed to have had as much fun performing as the audience had while enjoying the show. Their hard work was apparent as they put on a flawless and fabulous show. This was a wonderful fundraiser full of amazing performances from a cast of very talented and likeable individuals.
Alex and Tim put together a very talented cast for “At the Ballet II” performances. The show lived up to its billing and indeed was louder, faster and funnier.