After touring across New Zealand in the latter half of last year, “The World of Musicals” made its way to the Ford Center Jan. 27 as a part of its U.S. tour. The Broadway musical revue included more than 25 numbers from some of the most popular musicals of all time, from “Phantom of the Opera” to “Oklahoma!”
“This tour has taken about two years to get to this stage,” “The World of Musicals” cast member Ciarán John Olohan said. “We’ve had several push backs and postponements for us to be performing here at the University of Mississippi in this beautiful, stunning venue in this wonderful, great state.”
As a singer and musician, Olohan’s musical abilities have led him to showcase his talent around the world in more than nine countries. His Irish roots inspired him to take part in “Celtic Nights” and other folk-inspired musical theater productions.
In addition to getting to see veteran performers like Olohan, the audience was in for a special treat as Cassie Davenport made her U.S. debut as a recent addition to “The World of Musicals.” As professional dancer from North Wales, Davenport spent time at Paul McCartney’s Liverpool Institute for Performing Arts and studied at the Creative Academy.
Brought together by a passion for musical theater, the international cast of nine professionals come from across Europe and have trained at various prestigious companies and universities. “The World of Musicals” featured both pieces featuring multiple members of the cast, such as “Mein Herr” from “Cabaret,” and solo tunes like “Don’t Cry for Me Argentina” from “Evita.”
“We are so fortunate to have such talent come and perform here in Oxford,” an audience member said. “The cast was great and the finale was especially wonderful.”
Their emotional repertoire also proved to be diverse, containing both pieces infused with emotion, such as “Memory” from “Cats,” and songs that prompted sing-alongs, such as beloved tunes from “Mamma Mia!”
Although the scenic design of the production consisted merely of varying illustrations projected onto the backdrop, the actors captivated the performance through their impressive execution of choreography and euphonious vocals. In lieu of props during “Gee Officer Krupkee” from “West Side Story,” actors Ciarán John Olohan and James Kemp arranged themselves to form a couch on which the other actors reclined.
Throughout the evening, many numbers, including the ensemble’s rendition of “Oh Happy Day” from “Sister Act 2” elicited applause and singing from the audience.
“The World of Musicals” concluded its performance with a grand rendition of tunes from “Les Miserables,” which received a standing ovation from the audience.
“We’ve had such a wonderful time with you tonight we are happy to announce that we will be coming back next year,” Olohan said at the end of the show.