The play showcases three familiar tales and comes complete with comedy, lessons to be learned and love.
On April 5-7, students in the Louisiana School for Math, Science, and the Arts’s (LSMSA) Theatre Department did not disappoint during their performances of “The Apple Tree,” a musical written by Sheldon Harnick and Jerry Bock. The play, broken up into three acts, featured stories written by Mark Twain, Frank R. Stockton and Jules Feiffer.
The first act, “The Diary of Adam & Eve,” featured the world’s first man and woman and told a tale of falling in love and getting over differences to work together. This act starred Christopher Comeaux (’19) as the straight-forward and methodical Adam and Sydney Sorbet (’20) as the creatively-inclined Eve. Comeaux’s comedic timing could only be matched by Sorbet’s classically-trained singing.
The two were also joined by Camren Hohn (’19) as the dubious Snake and Sabrina Scott (’20) as the booming Voice of God.
The second act, “The Lady or the Tiger,” featured a story about the dangers of jealousy. Princess Barbara, played by the animated Brynlee Daigle (’19), and Captain Sanjar, played by Comeaux, are secretly in love, but their class differences keep them apart. When Princess Barbara’s father King Arik, played by Caleb Tynes (’20), finds out about their indiscretions, he orders that Captain Sanjar be put up for trial, choosing between one of two doors which either lead to a beautiful bride or a man-eating tiger. Princess Barbara finds out which door the tiger is located behind, but then later learns that one of her handmaidens, played by Scott, is set to be the bride behind the other door. It is then that the Princess is torn between choosing her lover’s fate and deciding which door to tell him to open.
This act came complete with compelling narration and musical tunes by Balladeer Elaina Bachman (’21), and featured great movement work from the Tiger played by Madeline Lorio (’21). Also featured were synchronous dance numbers by fellow Handmaidens Abigail LeBlanc (’19), Madi Kavanaugh (’21), Mei Scott (’19) and Sorbet and the King’s Men Colby Alexander (’19), Lauren Mathews (’20) and Hohn.
In the third act, “Passionella,” chimney-sweep and avid television watcher Ella, played by Lizzie LaPonsie (‘20), has day-dreams of becoming a famous movie star. After getting fired from her job by her employer (Comeaux) and having unfortunate luck with finding a new one, she is granted the chance to have her wish become a reality, but only during the hours of 7 p.m. to 4 p.m. She is then brought into a whirlwind of fame and fortune as “Passionella,” the world’s newest movie star. It is upon falling in love with famous bad-boy singer Flip (Hohn) that she begins questioning if the movie-star life is for her and if, she is in fact, “real.”
LaPonsie did a fantastic job of showing off her comedy and singing talent. In this act, Mathews doubles as both Narrator and implied fairy god mother. Other parts were played Bachman, who served as both Passionella’s producer as well as a reporter, Kavanaugh, who played a Newsboy, S. Scott, who played an Envelope Girl at the Oscars, and Tynes and M. Scott, standing in as body-doubles for Flip and Ella, respectively. Alexander, Daigle, LeBlanc, Lorio and Sorbet all provided movement and voices in the Ensemble.
In addition to the great acting, the show was complete with emotional intrigue, breaks in the fourth wall and the occasional brick joke.
The play could not have been possible without the work of Instructor of Theatre Scott Theriot, who directed the play, and Instructor of Theatre Crystal Lewis, who created and directed the choreography. Local pianist Michael Young provided piano accompaniment for all of the musical numbers.
"I'm really proud of the hard work put in by the students and I feel like the performances were a reflection of that," said Theriot. "To have the kind of schedules they have--and then throw in numerous hours a week of rehearsal time and outside practice on voice work, movements and timing--is a tall order for a student performer. I applaud all of them for rising to the challenge and putting on a great show."
At the end of Friday’s performance, the group was greeted with applause and a standing-ovation from audience members.
LSMSA’s Theatre Department offers students the chance to explore courses in directing, stage-production, improvisation and dance. Students interested in getting hands-on training with top professionals can apply for the 2019-2020 school year now at www.LSMSA.edu/apply.