Review: Cabaret Troupe contrasts fairy tales with everyday teenage problems

The Newtonite

Graphic by Josh Shub-Seltzer.
Junior Jonathan Gomolka, senior Will Champion, and sophomore Elise Hausman perform in Cabaret Troupe. Graphic by Josh Shub-Seltzer. See more photos on the Newtonite’s Facebook page.

by Jessica Tharaud

The enchanting voices of actors fill the auditorium with song in Cabaret Troupe’s “Neverland,” which goes up tonight and tomorrow at 7:30 p.m.

Directed by senior Will Champion and junior Jonathan Gomolka, the show includes a multitalented cast performing contemporary musical theatre songs. It contrasts the idea of living a fairytale with the pressures teenagers face every day.

Act I opens with the full cast singing “Once Upon a Time” from the musical Brooklyn by Mark Schoenfeld.

Sophomore Elise Hausman begins the song with an enjoyable solo that complements her voice and sets the tone for the rest of the number.

The first act continues with junior Tatum Abbott convincingly portraying a shrill, talkative girl endlessly annoying junior Julia Techler’s stern and clearly frustrated character in “Sort-Of Fairytale” by Adam Gwon. The duo plays off each other’s extremes, making for a particularly fun performance to watch.

Additionally, sophomore Sonia Joffe shows her considerable range while singing “Another Person’s Life” from the musical ALICE: A New Musical. Joffe brings to life a girl expressing her dissatisfaction with her life on her thirteenth birthday. Senior Isabel Rivero also appears at the start as the mother, who seems oblivious to her daughter’s wishes.

Joffe, O’Neal, and junior Ella Laniado sing about their desire to find husbands in “I Know It’s Today” from Shrek the Musical, and wonder why they have not found the man of their dreams, despite their desirable qualities.

The full cast returns to the stage for the conclusion of Act I, “Neverland” by Scott Alan. At the song’s close, the lights turn off and the actors turn their backs to the audience, revealing an indigo screen dotted with bright strokes that look like candle flames.

At the start of the second act, Hausman and sophomore Swabira Mayanja assemble to sing “Where I Am Now” from the musical Lysistrata Jones. Mayanja’s incredible voice in her solo is the highlight of the number.

A young girl’s wish for a different life captures the show’s theme. It focuses on the view of an ideal life, as seen through fairy tales and what society considers to be perfection. In “Princess and the Co-Op” by Gaby Alter and Tommy Newman, junior Aiden O’Neal’s character believes that a seven million dollar co-op will make her happy.

Hausman and sophomore Rowan Morrissey take the stage with Gomolka, senior Calvin Kwong, and junior Joyani Ghosh. They portray actors who express their excitement for their upcoming Broadway roles, singing “Broadway, Here I Come” by Joe Iconis, originally from the television show Smash.

The show concludes with the cast reunited once more, performing “When I Grow Up (Reprise)” from Matilda the Musical, based on the novel by Roald Dahl, with music and lyrics by Tim Minchin. The actors seem excited for their adulthood and the song fittingly ends a show that is based around relevant ideas for teenagers contemplating life.

The superb acting, singing, and the relevant, thought-provoking songs combine to make this show a success. The show allows the actors to shine, and entertains until the end.

Tickets are $7, sold at lunch tomorrow and at Theatre Ink’s website.