Upon entering the auditorium, the orchestra caught my eye. Their costumes were not unique, their instruments were not unique, but its sheer size engulfed the base of the stage. The group of students sat, individually tweaking their instruments and making last minute marks to their music as lights began to flicker, and the show began.
Coming together for the overture, each individual tweak and adjustment combined in a beautiful flow of song providing a solid introduction to the musical. The course of the show continued solidly, the clear unity of the orchestra stretched beyond the pit and onto the stage, with a well-connected cast and crew. Each song and act was well-rehearsed and performed with passion: a true team performed the musical, "Smile."
The audience, consisting of very few high school students besides myself, further exhibited that those who were invested in the show were a part of the show in some way more than just as an audience. One player in particular, Maria, was lifted by her supporting cast. With a ferocious accent and great singing, Maria really brought some zest to the musical.
With two great assets in store, Maria and the orchestra, the best parts of the musical occurred when the whole cast came together in song or dance. Watching each little bit of choreography and each hour they had spent working on it, you could see them dancing and singing together in a pure unity to match the beautiful weather outside.
The Kelly Critics is a joint program of the Post-Gazette and Pittsburgh CLO's Gene Kelly Awards for Excellence in High School Musicals, in which students at Kelly schools review musicals at other Kelly schools. Reviews are edited by senior theater critic Christopher Rawson (firstname.lastname@example.org), a long-time Kelly Awards judge.
First Published April 18, 2012 3:15 PM