Tag Archives: danielle rehor

Students mesmerize audience at annual talent show

By Bailey Hussung and Danielle Rehor

Godspell builds actors, amazes audience

By Danielle Rehor

I heard there was a pool and a trampoline, as well as a stage built on a stage, and it was a musical, but nothing could have prepared me for the experience Godspell granted me. Opening week many raved about Godspell, saying it was the best play since The Drowsy Chaperone, the play that took the theater department to the International Thespian Festival in Nebraska two years ago. The hype for this play was so large I could not resist. Despite overbooking, and an eighth of the audience members sitting on the floor, it was worth it.

The musical theater class has one specific play purely made up of those students, around 26 in total. This year the play was the 1970’s Broadway hit Godspell. This hippie-fused play is based off of the biblical book of Matthew and includes many parables, such as the Prodigal Son and the Good Samaritan.These short plays within plays give the play a sense of informality and even include a little audience participation in the form of pictionary and charades.

The first quarter of the play left me in a dazed state as the opening song, “Tower of Babel” included cell phones and business people, as well as Judas with a shofar. At this early point in the play, the biblical time combined with the modern age was very confusing. Additionally senior Missy Cathcart’s song, “Turn Back, O Man” seems to just conflict with itself as to whether she was being scandalous or humorous. However, with the performance of “By My Side,” my faith in musical theater had been restored.

The play successfully managed to act out parables and psalms while still being modern with its use of entertainment and political figures as the warned false prophets stated in the book of Matthew. The artful combination of modern day disciples and prophecy proved theater teacher Robbie Steiner’s directing capabilities and eye for unique works.

Though the upbeat songs and choreography may seem to summarize the play, “By My Side” was the turning point in which Godspell morphed from a confused mess into a cohesive play that I utterly enjoyed. The ballad performed by senior Kathryn Pryor as she sings to Jesus while Judas plots to betray him, is exceedingly haunting and regardless of religious beliefs is poignant.

The revamped pop music of the 70s hit truly fit the play and its aura. The music was exceptional, while still managing to reflect the mood during each aspect of the play. The group numbers and solos show real talent and potential within the theater program, including juniors Collin Jackson, Jade Dailey, Bailey Hussung and senior Cole Thorton. The group performances were more than just scenes in a script but the forming of a family as shown by the tears during the last Sunday performance of “On the Willows,” as Jesus says goodbye to his followers.

To say there was one specific part of Godspell that made it amazing is near impossible; however, what really set this play apart was that performers had the freedom to be themselves. With the exception of junior Collin Jackson as Jesus and junior Clay Gulley as Judas Iscariot and John the Baptist, no one had roles. The actors were able to create a caricatured version of themselves to play on stage. This play, set in current time, portrayed the faults that have haunted humans since Jesus’ age. Every actor gained something from the growth that occurred perfecting his or her imperfections, in a sense. The performance included many raw moments from all actors as they played themselves, without a mask.

Outstanding Newbies: 2012 Grammy Predictions

By Danielle Rehor

With the Grammys quickly approaching, we thought it only fair to cover one of the most anticipated categories out there: Best New Artist. Throughout the years this category has held quite a few surprises, including last year’s, with little-known Esperanza Spalding beating out the famed Justin Bieber. This year the category holds many different genres and styles, including rapper J. Cole, country trio The Band Perry, Nicki Minaj, indie artist Bon Iver, and dubstep producer Skrillex.

Will Win: Nicki Minaj

Nicki Minaj will win due purely to her popularity in combination with her unbeatable rapping and catchy tunes like “Super Bass.” Her skills may not match some of the other artists selected in this category, but she is captivating, in her own sense of the word, like no other. Her popularity is undeniable; she is the first artist to have seven singles on the Billboard’s Hot 100 at the same time.

Should Win: Bon Iver

The indie band has two albums, and their first album, “For Emma, Forever Ago,” was mostly recorded in a cabin in Wisconsin. Obviously, they are the coolest. Their two albums have won them a loyal following and they have been nominated for three other awards, Best Alternative Music Album, Song of the Year, and Record of the Year. They may seen the clear and obvious first choice, but because they are not mainstream, they could get overlooked for Best New Artist.

Dark Horse: The Band Perry 

The Band Perry is not much of an dark horse with their triple platinum single “If I Die Young” and quickly rising fourth single “All Your Life,” but they seem to rank just below Nicki Minaj. The sibling band has released only one album, self-titled The Band Perry. They are the only artist nominated for Best New Artist, that only has only one album, no EP’s or mixtapes. With a twangy country-pop sound, the trio could easily win this award as well.