At the end of every year – at least for the last 30+ – the CCM senior class has presented a showcase to agents in New York. And if you’re lucky, you can catch a performance of this annual tradition at CCM in the spring before they graduate. Such was the case this weekend, as the class of 2019 presented the last CCM Senior Showcase to be directed by the retiring Aubrey Berg. Special mention has to go to the amazing Julie Spangler for her remarkable arrangements, musical direction, and piano accompaniment.
Each student is featured in two numbers, designed to demonstrate their best strengths on stage. As every student at CCM is touted as a “triple threat,” meaning that they can sing, act, and dance it’s gotta be hard to pick just the right song. This year’s class is very strong in their selections overall.
This entire class has impressive vocal chops (their soaring harmonies during the ensemble moments were chill-inducing). There were no sour notes to be found. While the entire 50 minutes was enjoyable, I especially liked Dylan Mulvaney’s performance, as he showed off his voice and his unique sense of humor. Brynn Purvis has a very solid sense of who she is as a performer, and Kevin Chlpecka is Broadway-ready with his stage presence. Anya Axel shows she’s a quadruple threat as she wrote a song that the class sang as a special treat for us at the end of the showcase.
This class includes other stars-to-be: the handsome Frankie Thams, the powerful Alex Stone, the leggy Kendall McCarthy, the deep-voiced Dylan Dougal, the mysterious Jordan Alexander, the vivacious Jenny Mollett, the engaging Bryce Baxter, the beltress Maddie Vandenburg, the angelic Aria Braswell, and the approachable Zack Triska. Each of them have the talent and potential to go on to join the multitudes of other CCM graduates on Broadway and National Tours around the world.
This weekend, Kristy Cates was given the CCM Musical Theatre Young Alumni Award. Before the showcase began on Saturday night, Berg awarded a surprise second award to Vince DeGeorge. DeGeorge is the Joseph Weinberger Chair of Acting for the Lyric Stage and teaches and directs in both Musical Theatre and Opera. His talents, dedication, and warm-heart have impacted CCM for the better since his arrival a few years ago and he seemed genuinely touched by the honor bestowed upon him by Berg, who DeGeorge acknowledged as his mentor. DeGeorge thanked the other full-time faculty present for their support and his wife, Amy, who plays a huge part in supporting Vince, the students, and shows at CCM.
As a fan of DeGeorge and his work (“Seussical,” “Spelling Bee,” “110 in the Shade,” and many others) I’m glad I was there to see him honored for his efforts.
The CCM Class of 2019 will make their New York debut at New World Stages on April 17th. The Acting Department’s Senior Showcase will be held in Cincinnati on March 29th at 2pm and 7pm before going to New York and LA with their presentation for agent and industry folks. For more information on CCM, click here.