Rehearsals For BHS Spring Musical Begin
January 19, 2017
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As you pass by the performing arts center during after-school hours, you may hear the (not so) faint sound of laughter, screaming, and tribal music. That’s right- rehearsals for Bernards High School’s spring musical, Once On This Island, are in full swing. Although the actual performances themselves will not take place until the weekend of March 10-12, the cast spent all of winter break preparing themselves, and are now ready to make Once On This Island the very best it can be.
The musical, running no more than an hour and a half, was written by renowned Broadway duo Lynn Ahrens and Stephen Flaherty. The story draws inspiration from My Love, My Love; or, The Peasant Girl by Rosa Guy. It also contains some of the same thematic ideals as everyone’s favorite tragedy, Mr. William Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet, as well as symbolism similar to that of Hans Christian Andersen’s classic fairy tale, The Little Mermaid. The central plot centers on a young peasant woman, Ti Moune (played by none other than Bernards High School junior Clarissa Po), and how she manages to bring people of different social classes together and end prejudice through love. The musical is set as a story told to a young child, frightened by a storm. The ensemble serves as storytellers, reminding the child that she need not fear, for love will always remain to bind us all to one another.
The rehearsals are going quite well, too- “the show is quickly improving with good motivation from the cast all around,” says senior Will Shelton, who is a seasoned actor in the BHS theater department. Mr. Shelton will feature as none other than the main antagonist of Once On This Island- Papa Ge, sly demon of death. Most of the cast seems to agree; freshman Sarah Celantano describes the cast as her “second family,” and when asked her own opinion, leading actress Clarissa Po says “It’s an amazing cast and I can already tell the show is gonna be great,” while junior class student Allison Hewitt chimes in with a simple, yet well thought-out, “lit.”