The Ridge Review

The Student News Site of Mountain Ridge High School | Glendale, Arizona

The Student News Site of Mountain Ridge High School | Glendale, Arizona

The Ridge Review

The Student News Site of Mountain Ridge High School | Glendale, Arizona

The Ridge Review

Two Ridge students pose at prom photo booth
Festival of Lights
Remi McKim, Journalist • May 16, 2024
a total solar eclipse
Celebrating a Phenomenon
Remi McKim, Journalist • May 16, 2024

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September 24
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September 26
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The Little Things We Love: Starring Mountain Ridge’s Theater

Although a month has passed since Singing in the Rain ended, I still find myself constantly humming the tunes that are so famous. Something about that show stuck with me so profusely, it never shook off me, like a song stuck in someone’s head. I had the honor of being an assistant director and ensemble member of the show and I seem to be forever changed. When it’s raining, even when I yearn for sunny weather, I just can’t help but smile. Or when I have to deal with annoying people — trust me there are lots of them, I just look towards the good and dance through it. Because that’s what makes theater so powerful; it sticks with people. Its innate humanity is something we all connect with, helping us find a community or message that resonates with us. When we set out to plan the show, we decided the core thesis was that it’s about the little things we love, and by talking to the cast and crew, it was apparent that each member poured their passion into crafting a celebration of life’s simple joys, leaving a legacy that hums along even after the final bow.

The plot of Singing in the Rain goes like this: a silent film actor Don Lockwood and his co-star, Lina Lamont, are the embodiment of a celebrity tabloid couple… The only problem is Don hates her, and Lina’s voice sounds like a dying parrot. This all happens around the time the transition from Silent Film to Talkies ensues. Along the way, Don meets Kathy Selden, who brightens up his life, thus falling in love with her. Don, Kathy, his best friend Cosmo, and producer RF Simpson brace for the change in the movie industry and changes in their lives together… allowing hilarity to follow of course. The classic MGM movie has been referenced for ages since its original release, striking a chord with viewers everywhere.

From its original inception by our genius director, Ms. Nardone, we ensured that our interpretation of the script came through. Hannah Seibold, a member of the set design team, vocal director, and diction teacher actress, was inspired by a key moment in the film when Don Lockwood halts the movie’s plot to just sing in the rain as it were. She says, “We choose the concept of the little things because of Don’s happiness by something as simple as the rain.” She furthers that the set design team wanted to let the audience’s imagination wander, helping them move through the story more easily. And it’s clear to see how this paid off. Every night when the rain came on, the childlike wonder of the audience came to life, and the screaming never seemed to stop. This only elevated when Isaac Kalama, who played Don Lockwood, kicked water into the audience and kick-lined with the policeman character played by Gael Louis. For Isaac, it was a little thing like that that made the show so special: “It was crazy, unpredictable, and an intensely thrilling experience. It sort of tapped into that magic theater feeling.” That magical feeling that so many of us share, both in the audience and on stage, is the beauty of the craft. 

But that wasn’t the only technical marvel on stage. In the song “Broadway Melody,” a dream takes over the stage, and the rhythm becomes palpable. When the number starts, signs come on stage with flashing lights, coded in tune with the music in a fabulous pattern almost too wonderful to describe. Will Dana, who played Cosmo and also coded the lights for those signs, told me he felt giddy every night waiting in the stage right closet. He wasn’t the only one. I also waited on stage right every night for my cue, and the excitement was tangible. The actors had to cover their mouths and each other’s mouths so the audience wouldn’t hear our muffled screams of joy every single night. 

For any scene when we had free time, the actors would watch their friends backstage cheering them on through the breathtaking tap number “Moses Supposes”, the song “You Stepped Out of a Dream”, and of course “Good Morning”. Talking backstage with your friends and then forgetting your next cue is a time-honored tradition in our department. Memories like these many of us will cherish forever, the indescribable feeling of pure, simple joy that is so rare to find in our cynical world.

So what does this all have to do with why theater is so special? Just because we have a budget and a few geniuses doesn’t mean our department is so special, it just means we can make shiny cool stuff. And while that may be true in some form, that’s not what made Singin’ in the Rain special. Singin’ in the Rain was special because of the people. The way we uplifted each other, held each other in our times of stress and poured our hearts and soul into a collective project. Alivia Desmarteau who played Kathy Selden, shares this idea, “Every time I stepped onto that stage, I was so overwhelmed by complete and total happiness…. This show will forever hold a place in my heart, I will always think back to these memories when the clouds above me turn gray”. It wasn’t just about having a lead role, or the quality of our tech. It was the unrelenting optimism that broke through to our audience resulting in a standing ovation almost every night and crying backstage through every curtain call because it was one night closer to ending.

Yesterday I came across a girl who told me she was embarrassed to join the theater because she was afraid of being judged. While we can’t stop the world from judging us…we protect our own because we are truly a family. We love the way we make each other laugh, the way we cry together, and we definitely make a point to always cheer everyone on even after missing way too many notes (speaking from lived experience). 

Devyn Firestine, vocal director, and Lina Lamont’s main supporter, understands this sentiment, “I have learned so much over the years—and this is just the place to do that: learn.. I would encourage people to join theater because the atmosphere is beautiful, and I don’t see many other theaters that compare to the sheer magic of this theater department”.

As of writing this article, and listening to the optimistic revelation that is the musical number “Good Morning”, I can’t help but smile as the memories of that show and its people flood my mind. Although no memory can top superintendent Curtis Finch posting us on his Instagram page, a little boy’s dream came true that night. The truth of the matter is Singing in the Rain never really ended, even as we took down the sets and stole posters for our room decor. Every smile, every compliment, every stressful moment, was a little thing that made life worth living, the core tenant of the show. This year has been so special all the way back to Wizard of Oz, to now where we have our senior-directed one-act coming up and multiple class shows.

The theater has made my life and countless others worth living. So I challenge you to come sing in the rain, in storms, and in moments of pain, with us. Because we are ready to hum along life right beside you, even when the skies are gray. After all, the show must go on.

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