‘Let’s Duet’ Brings Best Of Broadway To Orleans

by Joan Aucoin
Denise Page and Ryan Van Buskirk in “Let’s Duet.”  BOB TUCKER/FOCALPOINT STUDIO PHOTO Denise Page and Ryan Van Buskirk in “Let’s Duet.” BOB TUCKER/FOCALPOINT STUDIO PHOTO

There’s a true sense of family on stage at the Academy of Performing Arts in Orleans.

“Let’s Duet” features 28 songs from favorite Broadway shows which felt like a musical quilt that played to the strength of each performer. Directors Terrence Brady and Jennifer Almeida have brought this touch of Broadway to celebrate the holiday season. The talented performers will have us singing along, laughing, even shedding a tear.

Musical Director Chris Morris’ crisp, impeccable accompaniment solidified the musical pairings of performers to their numbers. Dana Lapointe added the drumbeats. An appreciative audience rewarded the cast with enthusiastic applause between numbers culminating in a standing ovation after a rousing finale.

Like Laurel and Hardy “together again,” Terrene Brady and Ryan VanBuskirk boasted “we’re a team.” In formal attire, Jen and Dan Rabold sang “The Prayer” as if we all were sitting down to “Thanksgiving Dinner.” Jennifer Almeida and Missy Potash in elegant formal black dresses bemoaned a sadness in “I Know Him So Well.” Denise Page belts it out in a blonde wig with Ryan VanBuskirk who is “Suddenly Seymour.” Young Lucas Almeida, a star in the making, with Kimberly Matthews in lovely voice, is reassured nothing will harm him “Not While I’m Around.” Doug Sivco and Randy Doyle in tux and black suit boast “You’re Nothing Without Me.”

From “Wicked,” a loving couple, Denise Page and DJ Kostka, sit on a beach blanket in candlelight pledging their love to one another “As Long as You’re Mine.” Handsome, strong DJ Kostka and lovely Kimberly Matthews are a charming couple coming together in love in “I’d Give It All for You.” Fred and Ann Carpenter “Sing” from “A Chorus Line.” A true family loving music enjoy “Edleweiss” from “The Sound of Music.” Father Gus VanBuskirk playing guitar to his children Ryan and Esme was so truly enjoyable. Two big guys wearing Burger King crowns, one with a sword, moan of “Agony.” from “Into the Woods.” “Last Night of the World” from “Miss Saigon” is a song of love sealed with a kiss by Missy Potash and DJ Kostka. A more mature couple, Jen and Dan Rabold, sing a song of love, if only for a day, sealed with a kiss in “Written in the Stars” from “Aida.” Act One ends in a rousing toast to “Master of the House” with Missy Potash and Terrence Brady leading the company all toasting with mugs in and out and around the stage making the audience feel part of their tavern cheer.

Act Two continues “For Good” with Kimberly Matthews and Denise Page. “Sixteen Going on Seventeen” from “The Sound of Music” will melt your hearts with young performers Esme VanBuskirk, Lucas Almeida, Jen Almeida, and Mia Nadeau. Talented performers who laugh and cry and sing from the heart! You will want to Sing-Along!

I can imagine this production on Broadway. Come to the Academy and enjoy.


“Let’s Duet”

At the Academy Playhouse, Main Street, Orleans

Through Nov. 19

Information and reservations: 508-255-1963, www.academyplayhouse.org