(© Photo by Ross A Benson)
(Photo by Ross A Benson)

Forget the movies, even Judy (for now.)  This weekend, go to the spectacular Burroughs On Broadway revue and see today’s budding Judy Garlands and Mickey Rooneys blow you away.   Once again, the John Burroughs High School Vocal Music Association features triple-threat teens that sing-dance-act more like college seniors.

So last night, as one stunning performance succeeded another, I had to keep reminding myself:  I’m not at UCLA and I’m not at the California Theatre of the Performing Arts.  I’m at a high school, one fast becoming the west coast’s answer to New York’s High School of Performing Arts, of Fame fame.

The show opened with all choirs doing a full-throated version of “Masquerade” from Phantom of the Opera, launching us into an evening of wow. There were songs from classic Broadway, like Guys and Dolls, Camelot and The Pajama Game.  There were songs from beloved movie-based musicals like Singin’ In the Rain, Sister Act, You’re A Good Man, Charlie Brown and Catch Me If You Can.  And newer Broadway was on tap as well, with songs from Hamilton, Waitress, and Anastasia.  The show ended as spectacularly as it had begun, with dramatic highlights from The Hunchback of Notre Dame.

(Photo by Ross A Benson)

BTW, first-time visitors to the Burroughs High School auditorium may be surprised to see professional-level sound, lighting, and staging.  Tremendous student talent—and community support—resides in these areas as well.

Among the most amazing of the amazing performances was the dancing in “Toledo Surprise” (The Drowsy Chaperone,) Khavion Johnson’s “The Room Where It Happens’ (Hamilton), Lauren Duncanson’s “Where Am I Now?”  (Lysistrata Jones), Emery Goulet’s singing and dancing in “Singin’ In The Rain” and Shaylin Becton’s “Easy As Life” (Aida.)

“My favorite part of this show is digging deep and working with Director Jennifer Strattan to match the songs with the talents of each performer,” said Musical Director Brendan Jennings. 

(Photo by Ross A Benson)

A whole lot of great songs and a whole lot of wonderful talent.

Remaining performances are Saturday, October 11 at 7 p.m. and Sunday, October 13 at 2 p.m.  $26 for reserved side orchestra seats and $20 general admission/$15 for students and seniors. Tickets can be purchased in advance online here or at the box office in advance of the show. The John Burroughs High School auditorium is located at 1920 W. Clark Street in Burbank. More information about the JBHS VMA can be found on their website.