They have given us “Carpe Noche,” then brought us “Instant Replay,” and now the Blast crew is back again with this year’s production of “Rock ‘N’ Broadway.”
The nearly three-hour show offers audiences a wide variety of music from two distinct genres, ensuring there is something in it for everyone. The cast and crew, both of which have new members this year have worked hard for months to create the spring spectacular.
“Even though the excitement is the same, it’s different this year because we have different casts and each cast contributes something special that makes that year more unique than the rest,” Blast director Carlos Barillo said.
According to Barillo, this year’s songs are a tribute to American music. The show features current popular musical numbers such as “Bad Romance” by Lady Gaga, and “Down” by Jay Sean.
“ ‘Down’ is a really popular song, it’s a really fun song,” junior Michael Mainwaring said. “It’s definitely that song that everybody recognizes and enjoys.”
Many audience members were won over by the Mariah Carey tribute, which showcased popular student vocalist senior Shelby Sykes, among others, and earned her a standing ovation from the audience.
“When I hear Shelby sing “Visions of Love” by Mariah Carey I get the chills,” senior Jen Fink said.
However, this year’s Blast performance did not come without its fair share of drama. The February snow storm posed a possible threat because, with school days cancelled, there were no official practices, though the cast understood the golden phrase: “the show must go on,” and cast members held emergency practices of their own.
“I’m most proud of my students for picking up the slack for the lost days,” Barillo said. “Everybody gathering together made it possible for us to be where we are.”
The cast is not alone in putting in long hours towards making Blast a success.
“The band leaders had to individually rescore each song so they could play them on their instruments, and tech stayed until 11 at night so they are pretty much the backbone of this show,” Sykes said.
In the week leading up to opening night, the entire cast and crew was busy every single day after school, and many ended up rehearsing until 8 p.m.
“Blast season is extremely hectic but I do it because the performances are a lot of fun,” student band director senior Amin Stephenson said.
For the talented senior performers, “Rock ‘N’ Broadway” is a bittersweet performance. Many have been involved in Blast for all four years, and are sad to leave it behind.
“When you are with a show for so long, you get really attached, and it’s just a great experience for a performer,” senior Josh Simon said. “That’s what I’ll miss the most: the experience.”