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“Crossover” review: An inventive look at virtual performance


By Evelyn Walker, Cappies Critic

In the age of COVID-19, it has been difficult to emulate the experience and energy of being in a theater. Luckily, audiences at Saturday night’s premiere performance of “Crossover: A New Pop Musical” found exactly that. Directed by Amanda Pasquini, the show’s vibrant energy allowed for a fun theater feel in the comfort and safety of the cast and audience’s own homes. “Crossover” is a new musical set at a singing competition, where four women tie for first prize and go on to form a band. The show touches on important topics, such as women’s struggles in the music industry, LGBT representation in the media and familial struggles, in a poignant and entertaining way.  

Of course, with the need to perform remotely, unique issues arise, mainly with the set and props. However, the cast and editing crew worked with these issues, even using the remote setting to their advantage. During the singing competition portions of the musical, comments from audience members appeared at the bottom of the screen, giving the audience a connection to each other and adding a more realistic feel to the singing competition itself. One scene, in which two pairs of characters are supposed to be talking at the same time, utilized a black and white filter on the cameras to show the audience which pair they should be looking at, an inventive take on spotlights in this new digital realm. 

The show’s unique setting allowed composer Danielle E. Moore to display her versatility in songwriting, with songs ranging from catchy dance beats to classic-sounding country tunes. The performers’ energy and enthusiasm for Moore’s work came through in both the scenes and the songs, standing out especially in Anne Fang, who played the singing competition’s announcer, and whose energy caught the audience’s attention every time she was onscreen. Another notable performance was Chris Murphy Smith’s song as the other competing singer, whose country-like vocal tone and riffing were perfect for his character.  

“Crossover” allowed audiences missing theater to experience it in their own homes, and is a must-watch for anyone interested in seeing, supporting and connecting with playwrights and actors during this difficult time.  

If you’re interested, “Crossover” will be streaming until Dec. 21. It’s currently $10.00 to rent, and once rented, it’s available for 48 hours. Here is the link to purchase tickets to the Video On Demand stream:

Evelyn Walker can be reached at [email protected]

The Cappies can be reached at

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