Conceived and directed by Lindy Bartruff, adjunct professor of dance, “The Eleven O’ Clock Club” is a mix of old school and modern day musical pieces combined into one dance show.
The show tells the story of a club created by a group of “hoofers” in the silent film era who form a retreat to help them with their voices. Fast forward to modern times, and the great grandson of one of the original members has recreated the club by sending out applications to nine performers who come to the retreat to find their voices as well.
“I wanted to bring classic and current musicals to the ESU audience that it wouldn’t otherwise be aware of,” Bartruff said. “I liked the idea of the ‘11 O’ Clock’ number, which is the most dramatic number in a show.”
“The Eleven O’ Clock Club” features musical numbers from a variety of sources including “Footloose,” “Memphis” and even “American Idiot” by Green Day.
Bartruff said the show presented a unique challenge because it is a “book show,” meaning that along with having musical numbers and dances, the show also has a script. Students performing in the show said that it presented both challenges and rewards.
“A lot of actors get inward sometimes on stage, and this dancing definitely helps you go out…it definitely helps you connect to the audience too,” said Andrew Walker, junior theater major.
Walker said the most challenging aspect of the show is the “American Idiot” number, but he also said that it’s his favorite song in the show.
Casey McCabe, senior theater major, is the stage manager for “The Eleven O’ Clock Show” and said he had his own unique set of rewards and challenges.
“This is my first show doing technical stuff – I’ve always just acted,” McCabe said. “So sitting on the other side of the table and watching the other people start off not knowing what’s going and then building into their songs is really cool.”
McCabe said the challenges he’s faced have been mostly organizational, such as making sure people stay on task and keeping track of important supplies and papers. He also said that his favorite numbers are “Underground” from “Memphis” and “American Idiot.”
Although McCabe is a graduating senior, this will not be his last show, as he is doing summer theater.
“I’ve done shows before, but I’ve never done a dance musical before so this is the first time I’ve ever done anything that takes this much energy,” said Rachel Head, freshman biology major.
“The Eleven O’ Clock Club” will premiere at 7:30 p.m. this Friday in Bruder Theater in King Hall and is for one night only. Bartruff said that the show is free and seats will be first come first serve.