“All Together Now!” Review: A singing return for live theatre


   All Together Now! was a supercalifragilisticexpialidocious musical that was performed on November 12, and November 13. The show was composed by Music Theatre International (MTI) and written to celebrate live theatre making a return.

   The production showcased the talents of twenty-two students by forcing them to perform in a wide variety of roles, with a limited amount of rehearsal time and a simplistic costume and set design. All of the actors donned a solid black base for their costumes, and added in small elements such as hats, scarfs, and blankets to portray their different characters. While this choice was quite simple, it was effective.

   The set design was composed of multiple levels, all of which were utilized by the actors during the production. The different levels allowed the cast of twenty-two to all be featured during each song, and ensured that no one would be left out of the production. There was a simplicity to the all-black set design, but it was very effective in featuring all of the actors and putting the attention onto each scene and song instead of distracting from the main points of the musical.

   The musical consisted of two parts. The first part of the musical was recycled scenes from other well-known musicals such as Mamma Mia! and Fiddler on the Roof. While these scenes were fun to watch, they were not that impressive as they have been seen before. The actors in these scenes were talented and performed well, but the scenes were underwhelming because they have been performed so many times. While many of these scenes have been seen for decades, it was nice to see them live again at Guilford.

   The second part consisted of scenes featuring an audience watching a play, with poor audience etiquette. The scenes were humorous and new, and poked fun at people who do not have audience etiquette. They were also very relatable and the situations seemed so realistic, to the point where you forget that you are even watching a musical. One of the highlights of these scenes was when one of the actors, Rashad Hoel, stood up and yelled in support of Hamlet. Hoel’s enthusiastic performance was very memorable, and one of our favorite parts of the musical.

   One of our other favorite aspects of this musical, though, has nothing to do with the performance itself. This musical was put together by MTI, which is a theatrical licensing company. Because theatres struggled during the pandemic, MTI made this show to be free for theatres to use so that they can recoup some of the losses that they had during the pandemic. This is the strongest part of this musical, because not only did it allow people to gather together to watch a show with one another, it helped out local theatres after they went through something that most likely hurt them the most.

   All Together Now! was a successful return for live theatre at Guilford. While half of the content featured were scenes that we have seen before, it was still nice to be able to return to the auditorium to sit and enjoy a show. McWethy’s goal was to bring everyone together in support of live theatre being brought back, and it is safe to say that he accomplished that goal.