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Illness can’t stop TNT from going ‘Round’

WARREN — The title song from the musical revue “And the World Goes ‘Round” reminds people that, whether there is good news or bad, life doesn’t stop. You have to keep going.

The cast of Trumbull New Theatre’s production of the show learned that lesson firsthand on opening night of a three-performance run at the Robins Theatre when one of the four cast members was too sick to perform.

But the world goes ’round and the show must go on, so Shaina Vencel, Kathy Matejcic and mostly Jacob Glosser filled in for the missing Harmon R. Andrews. Director Debra Nuhfer also contributed some harmony vocals both on stage and from the wings.

Being a musical revue with no narrative arc, it might have been easier to drop a couple of Andrews’ solo numbers instead of having Glosser perform them with the music and lyrics in hand. Then again the audience would have been deprived of how well Glosser nailed “Kiss of the Spider Woman.” It was surprising how well he pulled off the challenging song with little or no rehearsal.

The revue is built around the work of composer John Kander and lyricist Fred Ebb. While best known for “Chicago” and “Cabaret,” the pair wrote 15 musicals that played Broadway as well as working on several film projects. Perhaps the best-known song the pair penned is that Frank Sinatra favorite “New York, New York,” which closes the show.

Backed by a talented five-piece band led by music director Alan Purdum, Vencel, Glosser and Matejcic all get a chance to shine both as soloists and in ensemble numbers.

Vencel, a Cortland native who has lived in New York for the last 13 years, clearly has the most musical theater experience and polish of the class.

She wowed the crowd with her performance of “And the World Goes ‘Round” to start the night and never failed to impress with her vocal prowess and the personality she brought to each song.

Equally impressive was how she blended with Glosser and Matejcic on the group numbers. It would have been easy for her to overpower anyone who occupied the stage with her, but on songs like “Coffee in a Cardboard Cup,” with its accelerating pace, the trio worked together as a well-oiled machine (because Andrews was supposed to be a part of that number, its smooth flow was an even greater achievement).

Glosser showed his range in the first act going from a comedic love song written about pastries and the woman who makes them (“Sara Lee”) to the bittersweet “Mr. Cellophane” from “Chicago” about Roxie Hart’s always overlooked husband.

Matejcic was at her best on “Ring Them Bells” to open the second act and her duet with Vencel on “Class.”

A matinee at 2 p.m. today is the final performance in the run. Hopefully, Andrews is healthy and able to join his castmates, but on Friday they proved they could keep the world going ’round quite nicely without him.

If you go …

WHAT: Trumbull New Theatre — “And the World Goes ‘Round”

WHEN: 2 p.m. today

WHERE: Robins Theatre, 160 E. Market St., Warren

HOW MUCH: $18 at http://rob instheatre.com/eventbrite/

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