Review: Susan Egan Celebrates Music at the Arcadia Performing Arts Center

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Arcadia Performing Arts Foundation presented Susan Egan in a very unique show Saturday, March 1st as part of its first season at the Arcadia Performing Arts Center in Arcadia. Egan, as expected, delighted.

Egan is best known for her original role as Belle in Disney’s “Beauty and the Beast on Broadway,” as the animated voice character Meg from Disney’s animated feature Hercules, and as the title role of “Thoroughly Modern Millie.” She has won critical acclaim as Broadway’s longest-running Sally Bowles in “Cabaret.”

The sixty-member Arcadia Stage, the theatre student program at Arcadia High School (AHS), joined Egan, who has received both Tony Award and Drama Desk nominations for “Best Actress” as the original Belle in “Beauty and the Beast,” on stage. Together, they performed four songs before collaborating on two from their upcoming production of “Curtains.”

Over the past few years, Egan has been significantly involved in teaching master classes at universities and conservatories across the country, including UCLA, USC, Pepperdine, University of Miami, Pacific Conservatory of Performing Arts, and many more. Egan is a true believer of arts programs and this performance session also featured a rehearsal act for the theatre students at AHS.

Susan performed classic tunes by Gershwin, Porter, and Arlen, as well as music from NYC’s hottest new writers.

Stephen Cook – a pianist, music director, arranger, and composer for this event – accompanied Egan’s pleasant performance. Egan also managed to take the stage with Alana Deblase, a senior at AHS. Together, they performed “For Good,” a duet from Broadway’s hit musical “Wicked.”

Egan and Deblase were a vision of the future of stage performance and their live number highlighted the inspiration that Egan brings to aspiring performers. Egan gave praise to Alana as being “our future generation in musical performers.”

Overall, the show was comical and musically rich from beginning to end. Egan’s performance could very well be classified as a song timeline of her stage career and life.

Highlights of the show were songs like “My lifelong Love,” a piece about a girl joining her high school choir because of a boy, and really finding song and voice as her lifelong love, and also “Maybe This Time,” a song from “Cabaret” that Egan said was, “A performance that blurred the lines of reality and stage for her.”

Egan went on to sing “Nina Doesn’t Care,” a track she penned for her daughter Nina. It’s a captivatingly funny song that describes Egan’s daily struggle from being a first time mom, to a headlining Broadway star, and how these two settings are clearly disregarded by her daughter who only just knows her as her mom.

The fans loved it, as it was an impressive portion of the show. More importantly, the audience came out rather entertainment after Egan’s performance ended.

Daizy Neri is a Contributing Writer for Living Out Loud - LA, covering lifestyle and entertainment. Follow her on Twitter: @CaliD15
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