IROQUOIS – Combining a 200-year-old British novel with a musical score of contemporary pop music from the 1960’s and up may sound like an unusual fusion for a musical.
But add in some eager Seaway District High School performers and it becomes a successful musical.
Emma: A Pop Musical, written by Eric Price, was performed by a small ensemble cast of Grade 8 to 12 students at the school for a very limited, two performance engagement June 7th.
The production, an adaptation of the Jane Austin novel, told the story of Emma, a popular student at Highbury Prep and compulsive matchmaker for friends. Eventually Emma (played by Emily Vreman) focuses on finding that perfect match for her friend Harriet (played by Irene Vero), while ignoring her own potential match, one that is right before her eyes.
Vreman, a Grade 8 student at Seaway, was stellar in her performance on stage, and conveyed the role well. Notable was her strong lead in the ensemble performances, joined by Vero in Whitney Houston’s How Will I Know? and by Dominic Belhumeur and Oliver Workman-Suttle in Lisa Loeb’s Stay.
Belhumeur, who took on the role of Frankie only weeks before the performances, led the ensemble with a rocking rendition of Pat Benatar’s Heartbreaker that energized the audience.
The cast, which included Vreman, Vero, Belhumeur, Tibben, Workman-Suttle, Luka Kalinovic, Francesca Termidoro, Erika Suttle, Lilly Lewis, and Maddy Machielsen, put a lot work in to their roles, and it showed on stage.
Seaway’s production used a recorded music track for the production. It would be good to see musical/drama productions in the future combined with the already accomplished music program at the school through a live orchestra. The only issue with Emma: A Pop Musical was its limited run. A two-show engagement was not long enough.
Bravo cast and crew.