Warren Gerds/Critic at Large: Review: ‘Living In-Tune Together’ inspirational in De Pere

Critic At Large

St. Norbert College Knights on Broadway

St. Norbert College Knights on Broadway spring 2021 troupe.

DE PERE, Wis. (WFRV) – An expression of a time in a bottle.

One local concert is especially good at doing that.

Twenty-two songs accumulate sensitivity, care and thoughts surrounding the last 14 months of the COVID-19 pandemic.

That is the offering of the Knights on Broadway singing ensemble of St. Norbert College. Normally, it’s a “show troupe,” with showy presentations from Broadway songs. This year, the concert is more mind over movement – less dancing and more emotion over motion.

One more performance takes place today, Friday, May 21 – live and in-person and also livestreamed from Walter Theatre in Abbot Pennings Hall of Fine Arts on campus.

In the introduction, director Kent Paulsen explains the title, “Spring Showcase: Living In-Tune Together.” In part, it is about “being better about finding your place in life,” he says.

All sorts of headiness feeds through the show. Students take turns introducing the songs, with their words having the scent of a person or people with experience and awareness.

The aura is wholesome.

Some nuts and bolts:

+ The singers performed masked. There is muffling of notes, some singers more than others.

+ The singers wear wireless headsets, adding freedom of movement and sound balance.

+ The performance space (larger, Walter Theatre) is different than usual (smaller, Dudley Birder Hall on campus) for opportunity for distancing for the in-person audience.

St. Norbert College Knights on Broadway ends the song “Ain’t It Good” Thursday night. (Warren Gerds screenshot)

+ Multiple cameras offer varying angles of the singers.

+ In the background is a screen onto which song information and featured singers’ names are projected.

+ Audience applause and cheers could be heard online during Thursday night’s performance, adding to the color.

+ Leader Kent Paulsen is always in the background, answering the call on piano for all the shadings of the songs the singers take on. He’s a man of a thousand fingers, it seems.

+ The performers wore one set of clothing. Usually, they have a costume change at intermission.

+ Thursday night’s show included imperfections of live performance – not every note being spot-on – but had the energy of live performance at the same time.

+ The singers’ group sound is solid, and sometimes a featured singer lights up in BIG notes or embraces just the right tone of comfort or concern.

Overall, the concert speaks well of the college. The students are its product, after all. Those students represent one way (inspirational) of how the college has responded to a time of trial.

The group is popular in the first place, with fans in the public. This concert is a step above its normal entertainment thrust (though thoughtfulness is always around).




Act I

“You’ll Never Walk Alone” from “Carousel”

“Seasons of Love” from “Rent” – Sarah Gregory, Daniel Scaife, Briah Larson

“Momma Don’t Cry” by YNW Melly – Annie Yamamoto with women singers

“Impossible Dream” from “Man of La Mancha” – Sam Skiff, Garret Fritz with all joining

“One Perfect Moment” from “Bring It On” – Megan Jasen with women take turns adding phrases

“The Schuyler Sisters” from “Hamilton: An American Musical” – Sarah Gregory, Marki Hietpas, Annie Yamamoto

“One Last Prayer” from “Republic” – Sam Skiff, Garret Fritz, Trent Larson

“This Time” from “Now. Here. This.” – Emily Tomcek

“No One Is Alone” from “Into the Woods” – Megan Jason, Emma Hutter, Sam Skiff, Anton Maslowski

“Ain’t It Good” from “Children of Eden” – Sarah Gregory, joined by all

“Epilogue” from “Les Miserablés” – Trent Larson, Briah Larson, Emily Tomcek, Sarah Gregory

“You’ll Be Found” from “Dear Evan Hansen” – Maverick Berner, Emma Hutter, Daniel Scaife, Annie Yamamoto

Act II

“Steal Your Rock ‘n’ Roll” from “Memphis” – Maverick Berner, Annie Yamamoto, Trent Larson, Briah Larson

“Beautiful” from “Beautiful: The Carole King Musical” – Emma Hutter, all

“Corner of the Sky” from “Pippin” – Anton Maslowski

“Back to Before” from “Ragtime” – Marki Hietpas

“Beautiful City” from “Godspell” – Men, joining one by one

“All That Matters” from “Finding Neverland” – Briah Larson, with women

“Anthem” from “Chess” – Trent Larson, all

“When You’re Feet Don’t Touch the Ground” from “Finding Neverland” – Daniel Scaife, Emily Tomcek

“Unruly Heart” from “The Prom” – Annie Yamamoto, all

“Somewhere” from “West Side Story” – Emily Hutter, Maverick Berner, Briah Larson, Daniel Scaife, Megan Jasen, all

“Light” from “Next to Normal” – Maverick Berner, Emily Tomcek (senior feature song), all


Creative: Artistic director – Kent Paulsen; assistant director – Linda Feldmann; arts management assistant – Josh Fields


Maverick Berner (Greendale)

Garret Fritz (Roselle, Ill.)

Sarah Gregory (Green Bay)

Marki Hietpas (Combined Locks)

Emma Hutter (Fond du Lac)

Megan Jasen (West Bend)

Trent Larson (Greenville)

Briah Larson (Green Bay)

Anton Maslowski (Madison)

Daniel Scaife (Madison)

Sam Skiff (Fond du Lac)

Emily Tomcek (De Pere)

Annie Yamamoto (Hoffman Estates, Ill.)

Running time: Two hours, 5 minutes

Remaining performance: 8 p.m. May 21


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