Pulling Success From Failure: ‘Broadway Flops’

Have you ever been to a really bad show where you just had to get up and leave the theater in order to maintain your sanity? Well, going for another round is Panama Productions’ second-annual spectacle ‘Broadway Flops,’ a night of quirky and bright songs from shows that never quite made it in the entertainment industry, performed by some of UC Irvine’s most talented drama students. These ‘flops’ will actually make you want to sit down and stay.
For the past few weeks, the cast and crew of ‘Broadway Flops’ have been rehearsing nearly every night in this student-run-and-choreographed show. Co-directors and third-year drama majors Patrick Burns and Nana Kanzaveli, upon being presented an Undergraduate Research Opportunities Program grant, were eager to showcase nearly 30 songs from various musical flops.
A show that lasts for 250 runs or less is considered a Broadway flop; however, their songs should not be overlooked. After auditions for UCI’s ‘Broadway Flops,’ the female-dominated cast of 12 had songs selected for them based on their voice and style. These were then arranged into a musical collage displaying the best of the ups and how to deal with some of the downs of love and life.
Ironically enough, the show begins with the light-hearted comedic number ‘Everybody Wants to Do a Musical’ from the Tony Award-nominated play ‘Nick and Nora,’ performed by third-year drama and literary journalism double-major Kristen Rude, setting the tone for ‘Flops.’ Though ‘Nick and Nora’ may have only lasted for roughly nine runs, Rude’s rendition of the song is bright and humorous, and a strong choice to start the show. In ‘Best Friend,’ second-year drama major Hannah Bornstein and third-year drama major Laura D’Andre share a comical duet between two seemingly mismatched and catty friends that ultimately realize through verse the reasons why they are companions.
More daring pieces, such as ‘Like Sally’ and ‘Wild and Reckless,’ offer eye-popping performances, adding to the comical outrageousness of ‘Flops.’ Though generally upbeat, ‘Broadway Flops’ does have its tender moments in songs like ‘Never Said I Love You,’ presented by second-year musical theatre major Alana Lefkowitz and ‘Green, Green’ by a quintet of singers and dancers.
This show is everyone’s favorite four-letter word: free. If you’re looking for little escape from the ho-hum routine of school, or if you happened to mess up on Valentine’s Day, then here’s your chance to make it up to your significant other by treating them to ‘Broadway Flops,’ a free show at the Little Theatre (Humanities Hall) on March 2 at 8 p.m. and March 3 at 11 p.m.