Rossi siblings leave audience ‘Stagestruck’


Kevin Hall

Regina Rossi, who was the soprano singer in Stagestruck, sings “Glitter and be Gay” from Candide in the performance in the Doudna Fine Arts Center Sun. in the Dvorak Concert Hall.

Margorie Clemente, Opinions Editor

Melodies ricocheted off the Dvorak Concert Hall’s walls from the cacophony of strings and elongated groans of brass as Eastern’s Symphony Orchestra fine-tuned their instruments before commencing the “Stagestruck” performance Sunday afternoon.

After confronting February’s wind chill, families and couples of all ages stepped into the warmth of wind, string and brass.

Singer and dancer Regina Rossi, with her versatile voice engaging the audience, accompanied Eastern’s orchestra. The orchestra lingered with long pauses and rose—the bursts of brass, the rolls of the drums, the gust of wind instruments and the swelling trill of the strings—all joined in a chorus with Regina Rossi’s unwavering voice.

Regina Rossi’s versatility emerged in playful songs like “The Girl in 14G.” She roused laughter from the audience as she scatted, shimmied and snapped all while tapping her foot to a quickened, swing-like pace.

The song portrays a story of a young woman living in apartment 14G who endures her obnoxious neighbors above and below her. While the persona of apartment 13G disrupts the young woman’s peaceful slumber with her strident, opera-like caterwauling, apartment 15G’s persona just as loudly and unashamedly expresses her love for jazz and swing.

In just one song, Regina Rossi swiftly alters not only her voice, but also her body language from one character to the next.

Regina Rossi’s personality continued to grow on stage in other pieces such as “Glitter and be Gay.” She ended her piece with an infectious cackle—all a part of the character she was portraying, which sent the audience into hysterics. Regina Rossi uses the space around her in a way that allowed room for her characters to come to life and roam freely.

Richard Rossi, conductor of the symphony orchestra and accompanying pianist, introduced the touching tribute to their parents, “And this is My Beloved.” He mentioned the following song was their parent’s first duo in Broadway, and then Regina Rossi and a cannoning trio performed the piece.

Regina Rossi’s motherly rendition of “Not While I’m Around” from the musical “Sweeny Todd” was dedicated to her 19-year-old son.

Tears threatening her lashes, Regina Rossi said performing the tribute song to her parents was especially emotional for her now that the curtains have closed. She said she felt it was a wonderful sensation being back at Eastern and stated it had been precisely 13 years since her last performance at Eastern with her father when he was still alive.

Eric Luminais played his solo piece, which happened to be his first solo appearance with an orchestra, due to his winning Eastern’s 2014 Concerto competition. Luminais’ flute fascinated audiences. Falling silent, the audience shifted further out of their seats to catch the hurried little breaths of the flute.

Luminais’ performance left the audience members nodding at one another in approval. He spoke briefly about his jitters before waltzing out onto the stage.

“I was definitely feeling some adrenaline, but I felt good,” he said.

Richard Rossi encouraged the audience to stay for a surprise finale: a variation of “Somewhere Over the Rainbow.”

Regina Rossi said this particular piece was the song that got her mother into Broadway.

The crowds then showered the orchestra with roaring applause, standing ovations and strings of compliments throughout and after the concert.


Margorie Clemente can be reached at 581-2812 or at [email protected].