Cappies: Anastasia

Cappies: Anastasia

Take a "journey to the past" with Bishop Ireton High School's production of Anastasia! Written by Terrance McNally and directed by Kathryn Rice, this cast and crew did an utterly phenomenal job of both pulling from true history, and fictional story-building through its beautiful stage pictures and engaging acting choices. Bishop Ireton truly immersed you in 1920s Russia and France, creating a night the audience hoped would never end.

The story of Anastasia delves into one of the greatest mysteries in history: the whereabouts of Grand Duchess Anastasia Nikolaevna Romanov. This musical follows an amnesiac Anya amidst the Bolshevik Revolution, who is rumored to be the titular Russian princess. Unbeknownst to her true identity, conmen Dmitry and Vlad take her to Paris in hopes of tricking the one remaining member of the Romanov dynasty, the Dowager Empress. Little does the trio know, that Soviet officer Gleb is hot on their tail to finish what his father had started. This production is a heartwarming journey of hope, love, and finding one's true identity.

The entire cast and crew of Bishop Ireton High School's production of Anastasia operated together incredibly smoothly. From the incredibly creative sets to the finely detailed costumes and careful lighting choices and beautifully blended ensemble vocals, to evident characterization of each character, these students "hold the key" to a captivating performance.

All of the actors did a wonderful job of storytelling through their facial expressions and mannerisms; however, the main trio did this exceptionally well. Anya (Sofia Cruz) greatly stood out with her consistently melodic and silky vocals. The audience could not take their eyes off of Dmitry (Aidan Foley). His understanding of the character was evident in his charismatic energy. Rounding out the main trio was Vlad (Aidan Furey) who left an impact on the audience. Not only was his comedic timing on point, but his ability to connect with his scene partners on stage was apparent. His dynamic with Dmitry was greatly entertaining to watch and his chemistry with his love interest Lily (Melanie Becker) was off the charts. Any time that Lily walked on stage, her movements were sharp, her dances were clean, and her vocals were crisp. While each character's vocals were remarkable, Gleb's (Aidan McNerney) songs were exceptionally cantabile. McNerney's voice was consistently supported, and his high notes were sustained effortlessly.

The technical elements of this show were evidently thoroughly planned out. Though the set was seemingly simplistic, it was versatile in the ways the designers (Brendan Carreon, Travis Rayome) decided to use it. Each prop was finely detailed which greatly helped set the scene. It is clear that the props designers (Matthew LoGrande) worked hard to ensure each prop was of high quality. One of the most notable technical aspects of the show was its lighting. Each cue felt very intentional in its contribution to the stage pictures. The designer's (Wyatt Moffett) use of color was a refreshing decision that helped the story flow like the "Neva". When it came to costumes, it would be very easy to skimp out on the ensemble�this was not the case with Bishop Ireton. The costume designers (Anna Connole, Michelle Dorman, Lila Sampilo) carefully crafted each time-period appropriate piece to fit each cast member perfectly. In doing so, the costume designers truly created the world of Anastasia.

Bishop Ireton's production of Anastasia was worth every minute. This cast did a notable job of ensuring the audience felt the warmth of the characters amidst the cold of "December." The loving atmosphere of this show was one no one would want to miss.