Theatre Elision has taken site specific theater to a whole new level with Grand & Glorious, currently playing at the Mojo Coffee Gallery. The story of the beginnings of the relationship of two couples unfurl around you as you sip your iced tea in a coffee shop. Theatre Elision has managed a fantastic balance of the old and the new as they tell this story. The songs are taken from the Princess Musicals, which were a series of musicals that were written between 1915 and 1918 for the small Princess Theater in New York City. The songs, as well as the story formed around them, follows the classic boy meets girl plot, but the use of text conversations shown on a screen bring the show into the 21st century. The balance between the lyrics written 100 years ago and the modern (and also comedic dialogue) was much better than I could have expected. Although some of the songs were about somewhat outdated concepts, such as the desire to be a housewife, the show flowed nicely and did not feel too outdated.
Along with a more traditional sound of musicals, came some good old traditional tap dancing, which never fails to put a smile on my face. And just like everything that Theatre Elision did with Grand & Glorious they were able to put their own unique and comedic spin on it.
The space in the Mojo Coffee Gallery is small, but the very talent 4 person cast use it well. The cast, Tim Beeckman-Davis, Abilene Olsen, Carl Swanson and Christine Wade are all given a chance to shine individually, but I think the main success comes in the strength of the group as an ensemble.
Grand & Glorious is playing for one more week at Mojo Coffee Gallery. Before the show you can enjoy a delicious meal and/or dessert. Anyone who is a fan of traditional Broadway musicals with a comic twist is sure to love this show. Click here for more information about the show.