Tag Archives: Burroughs On Broadway


(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.  

Burroughs On Broadway Continues with Shows Today and Sunday

The John Burroughs High School Vocal Music Association presented their Burroughs On Broadway fundraiser show to a pleased and excited audience last night and the show will continue with additional shows this afternoon, and evening and a show on Sunday.

The show Directed by Jennifer Strattan, with Brendan Jennings as the  Musical Director.

Here is a link to purchase tickets: http://www.itsmyseat.com/jbhsvma/burroughs-on-broadway.html

Photos from last nights show.


JBHS Choir Presents “Burroughs on Broadway”

On Friday, October 13th, John Burroughs High School will open their doors to present their 12th annual three-night show “Burroughs on Broadway,” showcasing the talent of award-winning choir groups, Powerhouse, Sound Sensations, Sound Waves, and Decibelles.

(Photo by © Ross A. Benson)

Each show choir will perform a mini-musical based on popular Broadway hits, including selections from Bye Bye Birdie, Rock of Ages, Wonderland, and The Secret Garden.

“What excites me most about this year’s show is watching the breakthrough performances that are happening even in rehearsal,” said Choir Director Brendan Jennings. “The students are really pushing themselves to connect with the music and subsequently the audience.”

“B.O.B.” also acts as a fundraiser for the school’s Vocal Music Association, reducing the costs of local and national competitions in which they participate throughout the year.

For the first time in the 12 years, Burroughs has hosted B.O.B., “premium reserved cabaret seats” will be offered, allowing the audience to experience Broadway-themed performances by students and other groups not associated with choir throughout the show. Reserved seating also provides attendance to a reception buffet prior to the show, with desserts and drinks during intermission.

“This year’s VIP experience is new and improved with our pre-show reception out on the plaza AND we are doing a special raffle for two orchestra seats to Hamilton,” said Jennings.

(Photo by © Ross A. Benson)

An inspiration for the hit Fox series Glee, the advanced mixed choir, Powerhouse has been well-revered over the years as one of the country’s best competitive show choirs. Powerhouse has been featured multiple times on TV, including appearances on The Oprah Winfrey Show, Dancing With The Stars, and The Voice.

“Burroughs on Broadway” will have shows on Friday, October 13 and Saturday, October 14 at 7:00 p.m. and Sunday, October 15 at 2:00 p.m. at the JBHS Auditorium on 1920 West Clark Avenue. Tickets are currently available online. Everyone is welcome to attend.

Burroughs on Broadway Coming This Weekend

The John Burroughs Vocal Music Association is proud to present “Burroughs on Broadway,” (affectionately known as “BOB.”) this Friday, Saturday, and Sunday, October 7, 8, and 9.

The school’s national award-winning choirs: Powerhouse, Sound Sensations, Sound Waves, and Decibelles will each be performing a mini musical, with selections and highlights from popular Broadway shows, “The Wiz,” “Xanadu,” “All Shook Up,” and “Cinderella.”

Individual students and small groups will also showcase other well-known Broadway shows while interacting with the audience. For this event, many of the auditorium seats have been removed and replaced with intimate side tables to give the feel and ambiance of an actual cabaret.

B.O.B raises funds to help offset the costs that are necessary to participate in local and national competitions.

General Admission is $20 for adults, $15 for students and seniors. Cabaret Seating is set at a two-level price, $52 for Center Orchestra Cabaret and $26 for Reserved. Center Orchestra seats include lounge style seating, a reception buffet prior to the show from 5:30-6:30 pm and dessert/beverage service at your table during intermission.

Show time is 7pm on Friday and Saturday and 2pm on Sunday. Reserve your seats now by going to www.jbhsvma.com

Burroughs on Broadway

Burroughs on Broadway Lights Up the Stage

Burr on Broadway Sun-7It was an incredible three days at Burroughs High School as students put on ‘Burroughs on Broadway’ The performances, music and lighting rivaled anything that you would have to travel all the way to New York to actually see on Broadway – far a fraction of the price!

Cast member Ben Hobson said that Sunday was their best performance of all and myBurbank’s Ross A. Benson was on hand Sunday to capture some of the sights of this magnificent school production.

Show Time Draws Near For Burroughs On Broadway 2013

This weekend, it’ll be show time for the John Burroughs High School Vocal Music Association (JBHS VMA). They’ll be putting on one of their most ambitious productions ever, Burroughs on Broadway 2013.

Burroughs on Broadway Rehearsal Wednesday working staging on 'Join The Circus' From Barnum. (Photo by Ross A. Benson)

Burroughs on Broadway Rehearsal Wednesday working staging on ‘Join The Circus’ From Barnum. (Photo by Ross A. Benson)

The audience is going to be in for something very special.

There’ll be over two dozen pieces, including highlights from Shrek, Peter Pan, Barnum and Will Rogers.  It’s a program designed to bring out the sheer fun of Broadway, the hoped-for reward of nights of concentrated practice.

Last Monday was rehearsal night for the solo performances. Wednesday night was full dress, as will be Thursday night.  Everyone was focused but not frazzled, taking the preshow glitches and the gremlins in stride. I recall what JBHS VMA Director BRENDAN JENNINGS said on an earlier occasion about “working yourself as hard as you can in a supportive and safe place, and then achieving something absolutely brilliant that you’ll never forget.”

Those words would normally apply to a dream outfit like Google. But it also applies to what’s been taking place on the JBHS stage.

Burroughs on Brood Reh-7

Burroughs On Broadway rehearsal Wednesday night, getting ready for this weekend performances. (Photo by Ross A. Benson)


The costumes, sets, sound, lighting, all great. But all these production values, as impressive as they are, are just the frame for a thrilling picture: teens that can sing, act and dance beyond their years. “Consistently from year to year, Burroughs and Burbank High are two of the top five show choirs in the country,” points out Brendan.

How did JBHS and Burbank High School (BHS) become top venues for excellence on the musical stage? One factor is strong community support that goes beyond funding studio-quality equipment. “We’ve got seasoned pros working with the students in technical production,” states Brendan. “And we’ve got a senior lighting designer who’s extremely collaborative with our students.”

Another factor is the performances. Younger students in the elementary schools are bowled over by the quality of the high school productions. Some of them start to dream big. “Kids inspired by the high school program are taking voice and dance classes earlier and earlier,” says Brendan. “Everybody realizes how incredibly competitive the VMA auditions are.” Some of the top singers at the feeder middle schools, Luther and Jordan, will debut in Burroughs on Broadway 2013.

Burroughs on Broadway rehearsal Wednesday evening. (Photo by Ross A. Benson)

Burroughs on Broadway rehearsal Wednesday evening. (Photo by Ross A. Benson)

It should start to dawn on us Burbankers that JBHS and BHS have become the community’s Performing Art Centers. Come see Burroughs on Broadway 2013 and I think you’ll agree that this is no exaggeration.

Burroughs on Broadway, October 11 and 12 at 7 p.m., and October 13 at 2 p.m. John Burroughs High School Auditorium, 1920 W. Clark Avenue, Burbank 91506. For tickets and information, visit www.jbhsvma.com.

National Championship-Winning Choirs Roll Out The Red Carpet For Burroughs On Broadway 2013

John Burroughs High School’s Vocal Music Association kicks off the 2013-14 season with its most ambitious presentation ever of “Burroughs on Broadway.”  Featuring the Program’s four award-winning choirs, including the 2013 National Show Choir Champions POWERHOUSE (Mixed Division) and SOUND SENSATIONS (Womens Division),  this annual event, affectionately known as B.O.B., is the JBHS VMA’s  biggest, most extravagant fundraiser of the year, helping offset the costs that arise though the program’s participation in local and national competitions.

Performances are Friday, October 11th and Saturday, October 12th at 7p.m. and Sunday, October 13th at 2p.m., at the John Burroughs High School Auditorium, 1920 W. Clark Avenue , Burbank 91506. Tickets on sale now at www.jbhsvma.com.

The school’s award-winning choirs: POWERHOUSE, SOUND SENSATIONS, SOUND WAVES and DECIBELLES will each be performing a mini-musical, with selections and highlights from popular Broadway shows, including SHREK THE MUSICAL, THE WILL ROGER’S FOLLIES, BARNUM & PETER PAN.

In addition to the choirs performance, there will be individual students and small groups showcasing other well-known Broadway tunes while interacting with the audience up close and personal, cabaret-style. This, in fact, is what makes Burroughs On Broadway especially exciting. The personal interaction with the performers and the audience brings an entirely new and different dynamic to the show that is not to be missed.  Premium Reserved Cabaret Seats include a reception buffet prior to the show, and dessert/drink service at your own table during the intermission.

The John Burroughs High School Vocal Music Association includes five competitive show choirs, involving over 200 student choir, tech and musical performers.  The program’s advanced mixed choir, POWERHOUSE, has long been recognized as one of the nation’s finest show choirs. An inspiration for the television series “Glee,” POWERHOUSE was invited to perform on the Oprah Winfrey Show in 2010 as a representative of the modern high school show choir phenomenon. This summer, POWERHOUSE performed alongside “Glee” series star Darren Criss at the Hollywood Bowl’s Opening Night Hall of Fame Induction. POWERHOUSE has performed opposite the cast of “Glee,” Christina Aguilera, Nelly Furtado, The Canadian Tenors and Foreigner. Additionally, the group was featured in “Gleeful: The Real Show Choirs of America”, a British documentary as well as profiled on the “CBS Evening News.” The choir has traveled and performed in a variety of cities around the U.S., and has traveled internationally to Hong Kong and Beijing in recent years.

In addition to being named the 2013 National Grand Champions, POWERHOUSE has accumulated countless awards and accolades on both the local and national levels, including Grand Championships at the FAME Hollywood Show Choir Regional Competition; the 2009 FAME National Show Choir Cup in New York, the 2008 FAME Chicago National Show Choir Competition and the 2007 FAME Orlando National Show Choir Competition. For more information, go online at jbhsvma.com.

Burroughs on Broadway a Smashing Hit

Evita preformed by Burroughs Powerhouse. (Photo by Ross A. Benson)

The stage was alive with singers, dancers, mermaids and even girls dancing the Can-Can. The Burroughs VMA presented their Burroughs On Broadway the last couple of nights to great crowds in the Burroughs Auditorium.

Group numbers were preformed several solos. Numbers from favorite shows such as The Little Mermaids, Evita and others can been seen, and you can see why the preforming arts in Burbank schools is so important. With budget cuts approaching, programs such as this can use your help, and you can enjoy a really family orientated show with your neighbors kids on stage.


Ross A. Benson Photo Gallery

Capacity Crowd Enjoys “Burroughs on Broadway”

Photso By Ross A. Benson


 Members of the John Burroughs High School’s Powerhouse, Sound Sensations, Sound Waves and Decibels, preformed “Burroughs On Broadway” Friday and Saturday evenings to capacity crowds.  Members preformed to numbers from Mary Poppins, Chicago,  Hairspray and In The Heights where students wowed the crowd and preformed to a technically stuffed show. The final performance will be on Sunday at 2:00pm and there are still tickets available. This event is one of the  Burroughs Vocal Music Association’s major fundraisers for the year.