[SPA SHORTLIST] Ep. 4: Musical recommendations

PJ: Hello, I am PJ Bohjanen and for this episode of The SPA Shortlist, I interviewed Freshman Grace Medrano, Junior Soren Miller, and the director of the Upper School Theater Program Eric Severson about recommendations for their favorite plays, musicals, and shows.

PJ: Soren Miller’s favorite play was actually one that he got to go on tour to act in,

Soren: I was fortunate enough to be on a, to be on the Broadway US tour of Matilda. And so I think that was my favorite musical play.

PJ: He did this tour when he was in middle school and he played the character of Bruce for those of you who have seen the play. The award-winning musical, Matilda, is based on the 1988 Roald Dhal book of the same name. it is about a young telekinetic girl named Matilda who is very smart but must deal with her mean parents and strict school. For Soren, the comedy and emotion were big reasons for liking the play.

Soren: a lot of the parts that I enjoyed a lot were comedy but I would say also, I would say the parts that really stuck with me the most were sort of the more emotional parts.

Soren: it also has a lot of like emotional and like heart-touching moments. And I enjoy the story of it a lot even though I did it. 100 times.

PJ: He also told me the message of empowering children also was a part that resonated with him. Finally, he told me.

Soren: would I recommend the show, Matilda, um I would.

PJ: Grace Medrano and Mr. Severson both independently of each other chose the same musical to talk about, although they both had different experiences with the show.

Grace: My favorite show would probably be Hadestown.

PJ: Grace told me.

Seves: it’s a retelling of the Orpheus and Eurydice myth, from Greek mythology.

Grace: one of them is like, a very much cynical pessimist and the other is like, the ultimate optimist. And those two points of view are what draws them together, but it’s also kind of rips them apart.

PJ: Both Grace and Mr. Severson enjoy Greek mythology and so this musical brought two passions of theatre and mythology together.
Grace: I think the reason I always, I got drawn into it is because as a kid I loved mythology

Seves: seeing somebody do a modern adaptation of a Greek myth really excites me.

PJ: They also both believe that even though it is a Greek myth, it can really be enjoyed by anyone.

Seves: I think anybody can enjoy it, because you don’t have to know the mythology because it is told to you.

PJ: When I asked Grace what really set this play apart from others, she responded that a part of the reason is the music.

Grace: it still has this unique element in its like style. Like every actor, every character has a unique way that they present themselves and their music.

Grace: most shows they’ll just keep one style like Hamilton is like kind of hip hop. Rent is like rock a lot of musicals are just very like musical theater eat. But this one has a bunch of different styles that all blend together.

PJ: Mr. Severson thought that this musical stood out of the crowd for how much it surprised him.

Seves: it’s kind of it’s surprised me every step of the way that that doesn’t happen a lot for me because I’ve seen and experienced a lot of theater in my life. And so when I when I get surprised I get excited. bensound

PJ: The one key element that set their viewing experiences apart was that Mr. Severson watched the show in person while Grace watched recordings. Mr. Severson believes that there is something special about seeing a show live.

Seves: there’s nothing more exciting than being in a space with other people watching a live performance because it’s only in that moment between that audience in that cast that’s on that stage that that happens.

PJ: Both Grace and Mr. Severson enjoyed Hadestown and Mr. Severson even said how he would like to Direct it himself when the rights become available. Grace was able to find recordings and songs on Spotify and Mr. Severson noted that tickets are available for the show at the Orpheum theater in March.

PJ: Both Matilda and Hadestown come highly recommended, and if you are interested you should really check them out. I would like to give a big thank you to our interviewees for their time and that concludes this episode of The SPA Shortlist.

Music from bensound.com