Energy was through the roof as OLLI members attended the Peoria Civic Center’s Broadway Series performance of Nice Work if You Can Get It.
The evening began with dinner and a discussion at Jim’s Steak House in downtown Peoria. Janet Lange, Continuing Education Executive Director, welcomed OLLI members as they entered the newly renovated Renaissance Room on the third floor of the Janssen building downtown. To start the evening, Bryan Blanks, the new Program Coordinator for Continuing Education, gave a brief overview of his directorial and performance experiences throughout the Peoria area.
Following dinner, OLLI member and Professor Emeritus of Theatre Jim Ludwig gave a wonderful presentation that was both insightful and entertaining. Jim included an overview of Aristotle’s Poetics and explained why musical theatre is an art from that is designed to be shared. Jim also explained how Nice Work If You Can Get It Is categorized as a Jukebox musical, which means the dialogue and plot were designed as a result of a collection of songs. In this particular show, the plot has been formed around the music of George and Ira Gershwin.
Once the show got started, the energy of the cast was contagious. OLLI members were tapping their feet and singing along to the Gershwin hits. The leading cast members were what can be described as triple threats, meaning every actor was strong in the three categories of dancing, acting, and singing. The evening was a success, and it was great to see the smiles on OLLI member’s faces as they left the building. The Learning Trip was proof that musical theatre can provide audience with a feel-good experience!