Thanksgiving Throwback: Broadway at the White House Provides Musical Previews

by Talia Milavetz

TLCs-Broadway-at-the-White-House-2015-billboard-650
via Billboard

On Thanksgiving, TLC premiered a holiday special, “Broadway at the White House.” Broadway stars Kristin Chenoweth and Mathew Morrison hosted the event where current Broadway shows performed and students got the opportunity to learn from Broadway actors, composers, and choreographers.

40 high school students involved in arts programs throughout the nation were given the opportunity to workshop their craft with some of the most successful people in the business. One student was able to perform a song she wrote for “Wicked” composer Stephen Schwartz. Others learned the choreography from “Finding Neverland” with the show’s choreographer.

High school student Rachel Libi was excited for the opportunity to work on her passion with some of the most talented people on Broadway. “Its awesome to know the people you look up to were once also you,” she said on the program.

Libi was given the opportunity to perform a duet with Kristin Chenoweth. They sang “For Good” from the musical Wicked. The number was unrehearsed; Chenoweth and Libi had only met moments before they performed. The song was beautiful and moving and they were given a standing ovation.

Musicals “Something Rotten, “Fun Home”, “School of Rock”, and “An American in Paris” also performed. The numbers were of course scaled down in order to fit the stage of the White House, but they were still entertaining.

For NYU students, this show provides a great preview for Broadway musicals. There are so many shows to see, but they are all so expensive and it’s hard to know what show will be worth the money, especially on a student’s budget.

“Broadway at the White House” showed scenes from various musicals, and people at home were able to get an idea of the different types of musicals and performers and whether or not they would be interested in seeing that particular show.

The show was extremely entertaining, especially for fans of musicals. However, for someone who isn’t interested in Broadway, this might not be the best show. There isn’t a lot of substance beyond the performances. We don’t get to know a lot of the students involved. However, there is a great taste of a variety of Broadway shows.

Overall, “Broadway at the White House” was a very fun special to watch, and helpful as a preview for a variety of Broadway shows.

Talia Milavetz is a Staff Writer. Email her at theater@nyunews.com

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