Briar Woods High School Live It Up! The MusicalBy Cappies • Apr 18th, 2013 • Category: Cappies
From childhood, we are taught that “if you can dream it, you can do it.” Unfortunately, the real world isn’t that simple. Liam has passion, dedication, and real talent yet he has spent years languishing as a janitor at the Darcy Theater, waiting for his big break. But when success is finally within his grasp, Liam must answer the most important question of all: what is he willing to give up in exchange? Briar Woods High School explored the power of fame and love in their inspiring production of Live It Up! The Musical.
Live It Up! The Musical is an original play by recent Briar Woods graduate Gregory Mooradian. The show tells the story of Liam, an aspiring musician who falls in love with Ava, the new assistant at the theatre where he works as a custodian. However, he must choose between his new hopes and old dreams when he is offered the opportunity to star in a Broadway talent search. This big chance comes with strings attached: he must propose to the producer’s diva daughter.
Brandon Diaz and Brittany Howard led the cast as Liam and Ava. Diaz possessed a voice which was nothing short of exquisite. His smooth timbre endowed his songs with a mellifluous tone, and his effortless vocal runs were not only stunning, but enhanced the pop sensibility of the music. Howard was also a gifted songbird, whose melodious treble notes blended flawlessly with Diaz in their emotional duets. Howard displayed an impressive mastery of physicality to craft her character arc, evolving through the show from very closed-off to more open and free as Ava released her inhibitions and self-doubt.
Live It Up‘s supporting cast proved to be full of comedic virtuosos who committed whole-heartedly to the ridiculous antics of their characters. The dynamic duo of Rodrigo (Jonathan Merlino) and Janice (Maggie Gough), assistants to the greedy Maxine, were undeniable crowd favorites. The two made bold character choices and frequently stole scenes, both separately and as a pair, even when they only appeared in the background. Liz Dickinson was another wacky comic gem as Deb, an undercover cop who donned countless absurd disguises, to uproarious effect. However, the true stars of the show were the Old Folks from the nursing home. These talented actors and actresses left the audience screaming with laughter every time they appeared onstage, with riotous group chemistry and excellent physicality. Their song “Don’t Give Up Now” was utterly priceless, and a highlight of the production.
The technical elements of the production provided strong support for the actors and created an appropriate atmosphere for the plot. The lighting crew not only fulfilled its basic task of illuminating the expressions of the performers, but also utilized creative effects during such numbers as “Oh Broadway” that enhanced the ambiance of the scene. Sound crew handled multiple wireless microphones with impressive dexterity, and the diligent stage crew executed a plethora of scene changes seamlessly and rapidly.
Sometimes, following your dreams means making difficult choices. It takes real courage to stay true to yourself when you must decide what is genuinely important to you, even if that means finding new dreams you never imagined before. Briar Woods High School illuminated the value of this struggle in their uplifting production of Live It Up! The Musical.
by Madelyn Paquette of McLean High School
Photos by Chelsea Lindsey
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