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The Mad Ones: Philadelphia Preview

Allegra Greenawalt, Staff Writer

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Off-Broadway-bound The Mad Ones took the stage of the Suzanne Roberts Theatre in Philadelphia on Monday night for a sneak peek of some of the musical’s featured songs. Composers Kaitlin Kerrigan and Brian Lowdermilk hosted the song-filled evening as Broadway performers Krystina Alabado (American Psycho), Emma Hunton (Spring Awakening, Next to Normal), and Zachary Altman sang selections from the show, previously titled The Unauthorized Biography of Samantha Brown.

The musical tells the story of Samantha Brown, a would-be college student who is about to make an important decision about her future: Should she follow in her mother’s footsteps and spend the next four years at a prestigious university, or should she follow her best friend Kelly for an adventure of a lifetime?

Kicking off the performances was accomplished opera singer, Zachary Altman. He sang two selections from a different Kerrigan-Lowdermilk musical, Republic, which retells the story of Shakespeare’s Henry IV. The overall performance of these songs was impressive; however, while Altman’s vocals were controlled and technically perfect, his rich tone didn’t quite match the informality of the song lyrics. It made his character less believable, and took away from the quality of his acting. Regardless, Altman is undeniably talented in his respective field.

Powerhouses Krystina Alabado and Emma Hunton sang the awaited songs from The Mad Ones during the remainder of the evening. Starting with the inspiring duet, “Freedom,” Alabado and Hunton belted astounding high Cs and Fs, while still complimenting each other’s voices beautifully.

These same qualities were a part of their second duet, title song “The Mad Ones,” where they both displayed great energy and excitement. It was Hunton in particular who stole the show with her comedic antics as  Kelly, the best friend. Not only did she have incredible vocal range and technique, but she was able to maintain her control while running hysterically around the stage.

Perhaps the most memorable performance of the night was Hunton’s performance of “Run Away With Me,” a beautiful song about the uncertainty of the future and what it holds. Its lyrics were incredibly relatable and appealed to the struggling millennial generation. While a few of the lyrics in other songs did not flow as well, this entire song made up for the missed marks. Props to Kerrigan and Lowdermilk for this composition.

Overall, everyone gave an amazing performance. Although Monday’s show was only cabaret-style, the full story of The Mad Ones seems heartwarming and motivating. If you happen to be in New York City in November, be sure to purchase tickets for this new musical!

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