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Review: 'Crazytown' full of powerful voices

by Leah Budson

Claw shaped silhouettes against a red backdrop in the opening number radiate the “crazy” in Cabaret Troupe’s “Crazytown.”

The show emulates the whirlwind of feelings high school students experience.  Sixteen contemporary musical theatre songs and two pop songs launch the audience through “Crazytown,” directed by senior Jon Paul Roby and junior Anna Nemetz and assistant directed by senior Emily Paley.

The show goes up tonight and tomorrow night at 7:30 p.m. in the auditorium.  Tickets can be purchased during lunch, at or at the door.

The show’s opening number, by Ryan Scott Oliver, is the show’s namesake.  “Crazytown” begins with the entire cast whispering, imitating the sounds of a town.  The noises gradually fill the auditorium.  The song is powerful not only through the cast members’ voices, but also through their expressions and movements.

The songs are a collage—some extremely contrasting—none too similar—forming an exciting show.

Following “Crazytown” is “Nobody Knows” by Gordon Leary and Julia Meinwald.  Junior Lexi Dissanayake and freshmen Sasha MacDonald and Aiden O’Neal describe being more than others’ believe you are.

The witty “Romeo and Juliet” from “Reefer Madness” has the audience giggling throughout.  Junior Chris D’Agostino and sophomore Juliet Roll embody the “bubbling” of young lovers.

A dazzling layering of voices in “Those You’ve Known” from “Spring Awakening” touches the audience.  Senior Mia Bracciale, sophomore Raphael Weikart and freshman Jonathan Golmoka sing about keeping those you have known in your heart.

The distinct beat of “I Look Around for You” by Kait Kerrigan and Brian Lowdermilk will remain in the audience’s heads after the performance finishes.  The strong voices of senior Jane Naugler, junior Kate Berger and freshman Julia Techler also make a lasting impression.

In the next song, Naugler and Berger sit on the edge of the stage, a guitar as their only accompaniment, taking Ingrid Michaelson’s version of “Creep” and putting it into the context of musical theatre.  The song, about loving someone who seems not to reciprocate the feeling, is easy to relate to.

“All of My Friends” by Drew Fornarola begins innocently, only to change abruptly as it pokes fun at high school relationships.  The performance, by junior Madeline Murphy, is comedic genius, although the number is one of the reasons that bringing young children to the show is not a good idea.

In “Flight” by Craig Carnelia, the simplistic beauty of Nemetz’s and junior Eliza Burr’s voices pulls you into metaphor upon metaphor of freedom.

The first act closes with a second full cast performance; “The Bad Years” by Kait Kerrigan and Brian Lowdermilk.  The number is amusing while displaying a frank honesty about life and fears of growing up.

“When Lily Came” by Ryan Scott Oliver begins the final act impressively, powerful voices bewitch the stage as Paley conveys panic in her voice and expression.  The five singers’ movements add to the performance.

In “Sorry!” by Ben Wexler, Roby and freshman Peter Diamond tell their escalating confession to the police, although more of the hilarious tale is shown through the actors’ nervous glances and desperate expressions.

The next number, “Chicago” by Sufjan Stevens, displays six singers standing across the stage, but as Burr singing stimulates the audience’s imagination.

Nemetz’s commendable acting causes many soft chuckles in “Gotta Get Out” by Adam Gwon.

Another song begins comically, but as Sophomore Danny Thibeault sings, the true tear-enticing meaning behind the lyrics becomes apparent.  The moving song “The Argument” by Gaby Alter and Tommy Newman details a relationship between a mother and her child.

The audience is rapt as “Dear Daddy” by Bobby Cronin is performed by Paley who sings as she signs a letter to a deceased father.

During “Get Up And Go” by Joey Contreras, Roby conveys the multitude of conflicting feelings felt during an “upside down” relationship.

All the seniors take the stage singing “Ready” by Contreras.  “Who knows how far I’ll go,” the four sing, anticipating life following graduation.

The show closes with a transformed “Crazytown.” It changes from haunting to magical as they sing “Through the Looking Glass” from “Wonderland.”   Through out “Crazytown,” the entire cast’s acting and singing is gripping and magnificent.  You will leave in awe.

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