The Jig is Up, The News is Out…

February 23, 2022

Broadway Utica lifted up audiences with An Officer and a Gentleman 

In the armed services, an officer is defined as a leader of men. He’s explained to show qualities in himself that he desires to bring out in those under his leadership. And a gentleman, well that’s exactly what the word signifies, a man who is gentle. Combine these two and you’ve got the perfect dramatic balance for a musical that had audience members flying through Pat Benatar’s “Love is Battlefield” and swooning over Debbie Gibson’s “Lost In Your Eyes.” 

The premise behind An Officer and a Gentleman seemed simple enough. Zack Mayo, a cocky, young man arrives at the Navy Aviation Officer Candidate School with a chip on his shoulder–something that’s out of step with the armed forces.  While graduating from the elite program will secure his future, the relentless commands of drill Sergeant Foley force him to question his journey. Toss in a beautiful, strong-willed local factory worker who’s happy to be in Zack’s arms, and an unexpected tragedy, and you’ve got a story that embodies the importance of friendship, honor, courage, and ultimately, love. Yet, An Officer and a Gentleman left the audience highlighting so much more. 

“It’s a story about the bond between men in the military.”

“It’s a story about women set in a town where men arrive for 13 weeks, use them for pleasure, and then leave them with broken hearts and shattered dreams.”

“It’s about being young and fighting for what you want. It symbolized the times that life broke your heart only to show you where you were supposed to be in the first place.”

All theories aside, An Officer and a Gentleman highlighted all of these things. Beyond Mayo and Paula, the audience experienced the importance of platonic friendships like Zack and Sid. Hearts crushed at Sid’s passing, and angered over Zack’s recurring fate of discovering the body. Yet there was an unexpected love story between Zack and antagonistic drill sergeant Foley, which paralleled an aspect of family love.

In the end, when Zach scoops Paula into his arms and carries her out of the factory, viewers are left with a beautiful image that symbolized change and possibility. However, the final goodbye between Zack and Foley, when the cadet pays a silver dollar for his final salute, might have stolen the heart and soul of the show. 

One thing is for sure, audience members are certain to be bringing the outstanding musical’s 80s soundtracks to life. Telltale signs of an Officer and a Gentleman fans include the auditable blast of songs like “Love Lift Us Up Where We Belong,” “Owner of a Lonely Heart,” “Love is a Battlefield,” “Lost In Your Eyes,” “I Can’t Hold Back,” “Hold On to Your Dream,” and the one song that brought the audience up and out of their seats, “Renegade.” So, when you feel the bass, hear the drums, and catch someone belting the tunes in the car, feel free to offer them a smile and a salute. Officer and a Gentleman fans fall out. for a full list of upcoming shows



View All News Listings