This year marks the seventh year that the Hannon Theatre Company (HTC) has put on the performance of the Alumni Variety Show. The show was made up of alumni who had performed with HTC.
The show has a very interesting interview component in which the host interviews various alumni, and then proceeds to give a performance of their choice that would demonstrate the skills that were fostered during their time in the Hannon Theatre Company.
The play began with a special performance from Melvin Robert ’01. Robert performed the song “Be Our Guest” from The Beauty and the Beast.
Robert also acted as the host of the show.
During his time at Loyola, Robert performed in the productions of Two Gentlemen of Verona, Oklahoma!, and Into The Woods with the Hannon Theatre Company. Robert had a particularly prominent role in Oklahoma! as he played Will Parker.
Meanwhile, to the far left side of the stage there were three director-style chairs that were set up facing towards the audience. Robert conducted interviews with various alumni in these chairs. Robert would call the name of an alum, and he or she would appear before the audience, and they would both take a seat in one of the chairs.
When the interview was complete, the alum would give his or her performance. The performances included solo pieces, improvisational skits, poem reading, a duet and a trapeze-like performance.
Each of the alumni spoke very highly about how Loyola had fostered their love for performing. Robert said, “Loyola taught me to love the art craft and the art form and to love the community and appreciate the fact that when you do a show, everybody comes together to create a piece of artwork.”
Furthermore, every single one of the alumni said that fine arts teacher Walter Wolfe had a huge impact on their love for the performing arts. The alumni collectively said that Wolfe inspired them to express themselves through the art and to strive to be the best performers that they could be.
Robert said that Mr. Wolfe was one of the big reasons as to why he came back to perform for HTC. He said, “ He [Mr. Wolfe] asked me this year if I would host it and I felt so honored that he would ask me to do that. He is such a special person. And whatever he needs I’m there, and I’m always there for Loyola.”