Grand Illusion bringing Broadway to downtown Rome

March 16, 2017 GMT

A little taste of Broadway is available this weekend as Rome Middle School’s Grand Illusion performs at the historic DeSoto Theatre.

The show choir’s spring show, Broadway on Broad Street, will feature a number of popular songs from both classic and new musicals.

“I tried to do a lot of fun numbers, with a few classic slower ones mixed in,” explained Jessica Kennedy, Grand Illusion director. “We have songs such as ‘Hard Knock Life’ from ‘Annie,’ ‘You Can’t Stop the Beat’ from ‘Hairspray’ and ‘Footloose.’”

The show choir will perform numbers from “Les Mis,” “Wicked” and “Guys and Dolls” as well.

The show is Friday and Saturday at 7 p.m. and Sunday at 2 p.m. at the DeSoto, 530 Broad St. Tickets are $10 for adults and $5 for students and available at the door.

Proceeds help the show choir pay for costumes, music, travel, choreography fees and other expenses.


The group had a quick turnaround time to learn the songs, just three weeks, according to Kennedy.

“There was not a lot of time,” she said. “They’ve worked hard on these songs, learning a lot on their own and letting me fine tune their performance.”

The show will feature the young performers in small groups, as well as a large boys’ number, a large girls’ number and then numbers with everyone.

They just returned from the Diamond Classic Competition in Albertville, Alabama, where they were named grand champion. There, they performed Legends Live, featuring numbers by Michael Jackson, Whitney Houston, Prince and Elvis Presley.

Aside from the challenge of coming home from a big competition and then learning all new numbers for this show, the middle school students also are working on complicated choreography, as well as more difficult music.

“The most difficult thing is the choreography for the group numbers,” Kennedy said. “Also, a couple of the songs are really wordy and complex. However, they’ve risen to the challenge. Anyone who loves music, dance or Broadway should enjoy this show.”

For more information, Kennedy may be contacted by email at