By Bonnie Berger
Baylor ShowTime! will entertain audiences with a Spring Show full of hilarity at 7:30 p.m. on Friday or at 3 p.m. on Saturday in Waco Hall.
Marking the performing ensemble’s 30th year entertaining the Baylor community, the performance focuses on bringing laughter patrons through a variety of musical numbers.
“Musical comedy … gives you the opportunity to escape for a little while,” said ShowTime! director and 2004 Baylor graduate Daniel Farris.
“When you turn on the news, everything seems to be falling apart the world over, so it’s nice to go somewhere and not think about that for a little while,” Farris said.
Combining fan favorite show tunes, popular music and classic ShowTime! hits, patrons can expect toe-tapping melodies and belly-aching laughs.
“All of these [pieces] show the flexibility of ShowTime! students,” Farris said.
“There’s an absolute variety within the show. What’s neat about it is it all seamlessly flows. A review-style show highlights the great moments and then moves on to the next moment. … You get the best of everything.”
Audiences can expect tunes encompassing the past 30 years of ShowTime! as well.
“There’s a group of pieces that audiences just love,” Farris said. “We’ve turned that into a set. We’re performing a piece from ‘Pajama Game,’ which is a very clean look. It’s tight, it’s clever, it’s fun and it’s one of the pieces I did as a student.”
Performing during his undergraduate time at Baylor, Farris brings a dynamic element to directing, combining personal student experience with professional expertise.
Farris said the students’ personalities played well into the song selections, enabling Farris and choreographer Jerry MacLauchlin to tailor acts to the ensemble.
“I heard the song ‘Show People,’ so I told them, ‘I need you to start creating your own persona for this,’” Farris said. “They went off the wall. … I think we found the right direction for them.”
Spontaneity and dedication enable students to perform wholeheartedly, said Farris and McLauchlin.
“Jerry refers to them as ‘fearless,’ which is great from a directing side,” Farris said. “It’s better to tone that energy down than to draw it out of them.”
Although the performers competently tackle rehearsals, the performance’s nonstop tempo presents a challenge.
“With any ShowTime! performance, the biggest challenge is going from each number and trying to get into character as much as you need to,” said Midlothian senior and second-year performer Martha Simmons.
“We can be singing a serious love song and then go all the way from that into children from ‘You’re a Good Man, Charlie Brown,’ writing a book report. I think it just challenges you as an actor.”
Farris said the combination of singing, dancing and acting is the troupe’s biggest hurdle, requiring hours of practice before perfection is obtained.
“For one minute of onstage choreography, there’s six to eight hours of rehearsal,” he said. “That’s why they’re able to do what they do and do it well.”
Originating in 1980, ShowTime! works with the local community to reach alumni, current and prospective students, as well as individuals throughout the world.
Touring internationally and throughout the nation, ShowTime! represents Baylor as creative ambassadors on a grand scale.
“We’re a little unique,” MacLauchlin told the Lariat in a previous interview. “We’ve been all over the place. [Showtime!] is a recruiting tool for Baylor and the School of Music. It’s also a chance for students to have a part in a musical theater ensemble without being a music major.”
Throughout the 30 years at Baylor, ShowTime! has partnered with local charities and events like the Central Texas Affiliate of Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure, as well as local churches. Performances during homecoming weekend have become a staple in Baylor tradition.
Preceding a tour through Tennessee, Mississippi and Louisiana, ShowTime! brings its talent to the Waco Hall main stage for the entire Baylor community.
“A lot of the time we’re off in different cities,” said Simmons. “This time we’ll have our friends and family and it’s always great to share that with them.”
For tickets or more information, call 254-710-3571.