There are only a few times a year when Cadets get the opportunity to take their talents outside Battalion and show what they have to offer to the Campus. Barracks to Broadway kicked off the show with the number, “Another Opening, Another Show” from Kiss Me Kate, which ironically depicts the worry the cast and crew felt during preparation for the show. Next, they sang “The Schuyler Sisters” from Hamilton. There was a full house packed into Buyer auditorium where the audience was clearly captivated by the colorful costumes and cleverly choreographed movements. Gen. and Mrs. Glenn Walters were also in attendance.
There was one song performed from 2017’s film The Greatest Showman: “This is me” which depicts the struggle of a bunch of outsiders for society’s acceptance. Watching from the audience, it was obvious that the men and women worked especially hard on that number to come alive together in one voice. The performance put on by the Cadets brought out the emotion, determination, and coming of age that was crafted into the song written by Mr. Ben Pasek and Justin Paul. There was extravagant dancing, costumes, and you could tell if there was one song everybody strived to perfect on, it was “This is me.” They nailed the song and “This is me” ended up being something special to remember from the performance.
Elijah Melendez, the Regimental Command Sergeant Major, was the host for Barracks to Broadway. Melendez did an extraordinary job transitioning the audience from song to song and added a lot of excellent background information, and commentary. He informed the audience that there was a total of forty Broadway theaters in New York City. During one of the interactive trivia rounds between numbers, Mrs. Gail Walters even joined in the fun, jumping up with hands raised when she correctly answered a Broadway-themed question to win a “knobby-cover”. Elijah also added a personal note when he told the audience that his fiance, Rachel Shewack, was in the production and that their first date was watching The Greatest Showman. The audience responded in awe of this revelation and it was a touching moment for all involved. Melendez contributed many other great things, and his role in the show shall not go unnoticed.
As the Corps moves into the Summer season and prepares to scatter about, there is something that everyone can take away from Barracks to Broadway: It’s that the Citadel is full of talent; people who can play instruments, sing, act, draw, write, etc. Many Cadets have talents like these on Campus. Barracks to Broadway was just a small representation of this statistic. Something that myself and many others would like to do is encourage our fellow Cadets not to hide these talents from the Corps. The Citadel might be full of Athletes, ROTC contracts, PT Studs,
Alcoholics, and many other things, but Barracks to Broadway was an opportunity to display those talents. Whether it be Barracks to Broadway, or some other activity or show, the Brigadier would like to encourage Cadets to let the Fine Arts Programs, and Talents be known throughout the school. Reason being, we don’t want you to miss an opportunity to do something special that could potentially impact yourself and others in a positive manner.
-Grady Edwards, with Robin Lang