2020 Concert in Action

Another wonderful concert season has recently come to an end. Every year, students get on the Little Theater stage and perform. This year, shows were performed from January 16, 2020 to January 19, 2020. Since there are various shows, they are divided into Block A and Block B. Block A featured Carrie, Bring It On, Spiderman and The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee while Block B featured A Bronx Tale, 9 to 5, and Urinetown. Each of these are broadway shows and range from hilarious to nerve wracking. Even though there was a slight snow storm during the Saturday performance, the audience was packed and there was great energy in the theater. Just about every ticket from the six shows were sold out, showing how much the community appreciates this uplifting production. This year, there were about 130 students involved.

Concert is a short lived, once a year, experience. “It’s so stressful, but we have a blast doing it” says alumni and stage manager J.T. Cambria. For these shows, Mr. Judge is the music director while Ms. Landa is the dancing director. All students are in the opening and closing act. In the opening, Another Op’nin’, Another Show, each cast is highlighted while the closing, Footloose highlighted each grade. 

New Players in Concert is very unique to the RHS New Players program for several reasons. First of all, everyone who auditions is accepted, and rather than one big performance, there are six to eight mini musicals, each about fifteen minutes long. Everyone auditions with the song All that Jazz; some people get very creative! Second, these individual shows are each directed by a fellow senior New Players. About two to four seniors direct together and some of them have been envisioning their show since freshman year. They pick a show, make cuts to the script, design choreography and select cast members. Since these dedicated seniors direct, they are not able to act in their scenes. Sandwiched between these short shows are their Senior Solos. Senior Solos can either be a solo, monologue, or a dance, but must be from a musical. Each solo is unique!  Senior Mary McDade reflects on her Senior Solo song choice and what it meant to her. “For my Senior Solo, I performed the song You’ve Got a Friend from Beautiful the Carole King musical. It reminds me a lot of my time in RHS New Players and all the wonderful friends I’ve made through the company.”

Student director John Mondi, who has done Concert for two years, explains, “concert is a special experience because you don’t have to be good at singing, it’s more to have fun with your friends on stage”. Another senior director, Ashley Orr, shared her favorite part about Concert. “My favorite part about directing is meeting new people and watching my friends grow with the show!” These two seniors directed “A Bronx Tale”, along with Grace Mabli and Matt Byrne.

The great thing about the concert is that you don’t need to be a trained performer, or know anything about theater for that matter. Most of the concert cast is comprised of RHS seniors. Senior first year concert member, Fiona Mulla, explains why she joined this year. “A bunch of my friends have been doing it since freshman year and I really wanted to see what it was all about! I’m so glad I joined because I met so many new people and was able to bond with people I don’t see on a day to day basis.” For second time Concert performer and senior Maeve Goodman, her favorite part as a senior was watching all her New Player Friends. “It was so touching to see all the senior solos. All the seniors worked incredibly hard and all their solos are simply breathtaking.” The senior New Players also are featured in the Senior Song: A Little More Homework from the musical 13. 

Seniors aren’t the only ones who have enjoyed their concert experience. Freshman Rowan Mastrangelo says, “I didn’t expect to have the amount of fun I did. I enjoyed the community and have met people I wouldn’t have if I didn’t do Concert. I can’t wait for next year!” Freshman Clare Surwillo shares similar sentiments, “it is the best thing about Ridgewood High School! Everyone should definitely do it sometime during their high school career. Everybody is so nice and it is simply my favorite experience so far.” All the underclassmen the staff writers have talked to all thoroughly enjoyed the 2020 Concert season. 

Dr. Schaefer, the sophomore grade advisor and advisor of RHS New Players contributes her thoughts. “Concert has been going on for the past 15 years and The New Players staff loves Concert because it celebrates our seniors. It’s always great to see how different the material is every year. It’s fun to see what the senior New Players do each year!”

Be sure to be on the lookout for New Players Company’s next musical — The Addams Family! 

Katie Hu and Tess Cundiff
news editor & digital content editor

Graphic: New Players Company

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