Theater Info for the Washington DC region

Briar Woods High School Elizabeth the Musical

By • Nov 29th, 2011 • Category: Cappies

Queen Elizabeth is one of the most popular queens that England has ever had, but have you ever wondered why? At Briar Woods High School on November 18 the hard life and the truth of the great queen were revealed in a student written musical, Elizabeth the Musical, written and composed by Gregory Edward Moorandian.

The original musical follows the young Elizabeth (Amanda Anzalone) as she succeeds of the throne of England from her sister Queen Mary (Emily Heyer) after she gets ill and dies from the heartbreak caused by Sir Robert (Devon Ross) falling in love with Elizabeth.

The performance consisted of amazing pairing of actors and singers. Emily Heyer was able to amazingly play off of Amanda Anzalone in their duet “Live Without You.” Emily and Amanda’s characters tell each other how they have ruined their lives. In doing this we get to see different sides to both characters. Two players who also worked well with each other were Colin Rau (Simon) and Jenna Lawrence (Grevelia) in the song “Just Kill Her” where the two dark comical characters reveal their plan to simply kill Elizabeth so that they can get the throne for themselves.

Amanda Anzalone did an amazing job in her part as Elizabeth. Not only did she understand the role very well, but was able to speak and present herself as though she actually was English royalty from the 1500s. She also showed off exemplary vocal abilities in all of her songs, but especially in her song “Live Your Life With Love” where she sang breathtaking rifts and stayed perfectly on pitch the entire time. Emily Heyer also did a spectacular job in her very complex role of Queen Mary. She held up her nasty bitter exterior for a majority of the first half of the show and then showed us the unseen side of herself in her solo song “What’s Wrong With Me” where she reveals her heartbreak over a man who loves Elizabeth instead of her, all the while commanding the stage beautifully alone. When she is no longer alone she goes back to her bitter self, while keeping a hint of a broken soul on the stage with her.

One of the biggest challenges of doing a show in the 1500s is finding quality period costumes, but the costumers at Briar Woods solved this problem by making their own costumes, which turned out fantastically. Emily Heyer did an amazing job designing the costumes for the show, she used the colors, styles and patterns of the costumes to symbolize progression in the characters. Queen Mary started off in a green dress to symbolize jealousy and it slowly progressed to a red dress over a hoop skirt to a full black dress that was tight at the top and expanded over a large hoop skirt at the bottom to symbolize her madness and rage toward Elizabeth. The costumes were beautifully made, they looked period and they did an amazing job accenting the characters.

The original musical was a great combination of strong character chemistry, amazing costumes, and beautifully written contemporary music that was put into a classical setting. The show displayed great morals and really showed people how to live their life with love.

by Quinn Emery of Herndon High School

Photo Gallery

Colin Rau, Jenna Lawrence Emily Heyer
Colin Rau, Jenna Lawrence
Emily Heyer
Kaylynn Creighton, Jeremy Breese Devon Ross, Amanda Anzalone
Kaylynn Creighton, Jeremy Breese
Devon Ross, Amanda Anzalone

Photos by Karen Struzik

Tagged as: , ,

This article can be linked to as:

is a program which was founded in 1999, for the purpose of celebrating high school theater arts and providing a learning opportunity for theater and journalism students. You can learn more at

Comments are closed.