Fall Musical Debut: “Babes in Toyland”

Grace James
Contributing Writer

On November 1-3, the University of Dayton will be premiering their fall musical, “Babes in Toyland”, a coming-of-age story.

“Babes in Toyland” is a musical that premiered in 1903, with many subsequent runs on Broadway in New York City. The show has a cast of both familiar nursery rhyme characters as well as more unfamiliar roles. In the story, a group of characters facing adversity goes on a fantastical adventure to Toyland, but not without encountering some roadblocks along the way.

Music plays a large part in the show and is influenced by European and Irish-Folk styles. Some songs will be familiar to audiences, such as “March of the Toys” and” Toyland”.

“Babes in Toyland” was selected by faculty members from both the music and theatre departments. When deciding on a new show, faculty members take the qualities and voice types of their own students into consideration.

“We try to figure out how we can showcase our singers,” said Dr. Ryu-Kyung Kim, Music Director.

Students participate in the fall musical by enrolling in Opera Workshop, which is one credit-hour, and they rehearse during class as well as other times throughout the week. They start by working on music, acting and dance, choreographed by Amy Jones, and then bring it all together as the rehearsals progress.

“It is a fun but rigorous process,” said Jerome Yorke, Director.

Cast members are now working on refining their performances before transitioning from the rehearsal studio to Boll Theatre, where the show will be performed.

“Now it’s a matter of memorizing and smoothing out the details,” said Mariah Berryman, a sophomore music performance major.

In addition to the cast, the orchestra has been rehearsing as well under the direction of Dr. David Sievers. The orchestra includes UD students as well as musicians from the Dayton area.

Once the cast moves to the stage, they will begin incorporating scenery into the rehearsals, with set design by Matt Evans. “Babes in Toyland” will also feature puppets courtesy of Zoot Theatre Company in Dayton, and costumes designed by Kehler Welland.

The show has been described as theatrical, adventurous and nostalgic, with cast and crew excited to share their work with an audience.

“I think the show is great for a wide audience of people,” said Mary Catherine Donovan, a junior music performance major. “I think the main message of the story is that with love and loyalty, good will triumph.”

Tickets for “Babes in Toyland” are available for purchase at udaytonticket.com or by calling the box office at 937-229-2545.

Cast photo courtesy of Mary Catherine Donovan. 

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