by Izzy Pilot ’18
The third weekend of this upcoming January, Sherwood’s Glee Club will make its premiere with a Broadway Revue at The Olney Theatre. The club and performance were the idea of senior Evan Neufeld, director of the show, who has lots of experience working with a professional theatre company and wanted to try out directing a show for himself.
A revue is a multi-act performance combining music, dance, and sketches with a general theme tying the show together. Sherwood’s performance will revolve around dilemmas faced by high school students such as homosexuality, abusive relationships, coping with failure, and college stress. “The scenes will help guide the audience as to what’s going to happen next,” said Neufeld.
Aside from some behind-the-scenes help from area professionals, the club is entirely student-run, with seniors Lauren Day and Grayson Willis as choreographers, junior Juliana Gross as musical director, and junior Sabina Jafri as stage manager. Casting and song/scene selection were a creative team effort, explained Neufeld.
The biggest challenge in organizing the show has been finding time to rehearse in the midst of this busy time of year. Between the fall musical ending and Rock ‘n’ Roll beginning, the only time for rehearsals has been during lunch and very occasionally after school. “Lunch is only 35 minutes. Having a productive rehearsal in that amount of time is very difficult,” said Neufeld.
Unlike the usual fall musical and spring play, this show does not have any ‘leads’ or ‘ensemble.’ In regards to casting, “Everyone at some point is ensemble and everyone at some point is at least a supporting role. Their character only survives for the current scene. But one thing is for sure: they are playing characters, not just singing songs in costumes,” said Neufeld.
Though “Broadway Revue” holds some similarities to Rock ‘n’ Roll Revival in its structure, Neufeld stresses that it is a very different performance, saying, “Rock ‘n’ Roll is more of a concert, but this has a story.”
Some highlights of the performance will be the opening number, A Musical from “Something Rotten,” performed by junior Nick Weinrich, which sets the stage for the rest of the performance, and the closing number of Act One, My Strongest Suit from “Aida,” performed by senior Lucy Kuchma. “[My Strongest Suit] is the song closest to stereotypical Broadway. Glitter, glitz, costume changes, a big ensemble–everything that screams ‘60’s Broadway musical,” said Neufeld.
While he is incredibly excited to see his work come together on stage, Neufeld also stresses the importance of the tech crew in pulling off a smooth show. “Someone once said, ‘without a tech crew, the actors would be late, naked, and in the dark.’ People often forget when they see a well-polished show that there are people behind the scenes, pulling the strings. Someone has to code a lighting console and use a mic board,” he said.
As for the club’s future, Neufeld is unsure if this will become an annual event. At the moment there are no other performances planned for this school year; however, the creative team has been “spit-balling some other ideas.”