2013 Music in the Night

by John Stoltenberg

I’m aware that hearing someone’s stark raving enthusiasm for a one-night-only, pop-up theater performance can sound like “Nyah-nyah, here’s what you missed.” Well, my sincere apologies…but here’s what you missed: a dazzling showcase of some of the most thrilling musical-theater talents in DC.

A co-presentation of Theatre Washington and Capital Pride at Town, this blazing comet comes around but once a year. Monday night’s was only its second appearance in the DC night sky. And I’m already impatient for next year’s.

Assembled and accompanied on piano by Joshua Morgan—who puts the imp in impressario—eleven rising stars did turns in solos and duets belting out show tunes so gorgeously and powerfully you might well worry that a savvy casting director will snatch them off the stage right there and then.

Happily, you can bask in some of this brilliance yourself in upcoming productions. Consider what follows a stargazing guide, annotated (to the best of my knowledge) with online coordinates and next-up appearances:

Shayna Blass (Rabbit Hole at Keegan), Matthew DeLorenzo (Rocky Horror at Studio), Aaren Keith (also Rocky Horror at Studio), Kevin S. McAllister (Violet at Ford’s), Stephen Russell Murray (Spin at Signature), Amy McWilliams (Laramie Project and Violet at Ford’s), Farrell Parker (until June 8 in Full Monty at Keegan, then WAIFs), Nova Y. Payton (Smokey Joe’s Café at Arena), Paul Scanlan (Laramie Project at Ford’s), Matthew Rubbelke (Rocky Horror at American University), Bayla Whitten (Enchanted April at Arena).

There you have it: a constellation of crazy-gifted local luminaries. I’m tempted to say, “Knock yourself out.” But any one of them can do that for you.