Published on Wednesday, October 2, 2013 by Robert Morgan
You’re sitting in your apartment, bored with your stagnant life. You’re on the phone with your best friend and you can’t figure out what to do. So, naturally, you decide to write a musical in three weeks and submit it to the 2004 New York Musical Theatre Festival. At least that’s what Jeff Bowen and Hunter Bell thought to do.
[Title of Show] takes place in a New York City apartment and features four friends putting together a musical that details the challenges they faced before making it onto Broadway. Jeff, played by Patrick Simmons, is a co-writer and composer of the musical who is doing it solely to have fun. Andrew Liner played Hunter, another co-writer of the musical who is controlling, but only out of love for his friends and for the musical. Heidi, the confident and talkative Broadway showgirl who is described in the musical as a “replacement understudy/ensemble/off-stage singer/dance captain/assistant stage manager track,” is played by Lindsey Morehead. Susan, played by Candra Lewis, is an insecure office assistant who develops bits and pieces of confidence as the show progresses. This cast meshed wonderfully together and their chemistry was impeccable.
“It was such a small cast,” Liner said. “We all [got] to interact more.”
Although they have all been involved in theatre and choir for most of their high school career, this show brought them closer than they have ever been before.
“I feel like we’re all really close now,” Simmons said.
Part of what made this musical such a success were the bonds that were made. Whether it was between the cast members or the actor and their character, there was always something special in the atmosphere. Referring to the personality and mindset of her character, Lewis definitely saw herself in Susan.
“I feel like Susan and I are the same person,” Lewis said. Like her character, this was Lewis’ first major role in a musical at Bryan High. Having this similar character trait allowed Lewis to be empathetic with her character and to excel at the portrayal of Susan.
Every scene of the show had a relatable aspect to it. Maybe not directly, especially the scene where Liner is dressed up as a singing “Original Musical” script, but there was certainly an element in every scene that the actors and the audience could find themselves in.
“I related to the whole show,” Morehead said. The real life themes and trials present throughout the musical allowed Morehead to find herself in almost every situation that occurred.
You could tell that each of the cast members felt the same way. The real life scenarios that were at hand helped the cast get a sense for how the show was supposed to develop, a key element that made the show such a success.
Members of the crew had nothing but positive things to say about the show as well.
“I felt very proud of these guys,” Elizabeth Garcia, backstage crew member, said. Being apart of many shows herself, Garcia knows that putting a show together is not an easy task and how much hard work the cast members put into this musical.
Seeing the show grow from the first read through to the final curtain call, backstage crew member Rhonda Burnette couldn’t hold back a smile while reflecting on the show’s progression.
“I love watching the show go from nothing and then to something,” Burnette said.
Soundboard operator Cain Miller also loved seeing the show progress and the evolution of the show.
“What [was] cool [was] seeing all the work pay off,” Miller said.
Undeniably, [Title of Show] was a phenomenal show and there are amazing talents that are within Bryan High Theatre. If the rest of Theatre’s year looks anything like their first show did, it is going to be an outstanding season. Be sure not to miss their next performance, Deathtrap, on October 4-6.