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The Vanderbilt Hustler

The official student newspaper of Vanderbilt University.
Since 1888
The official student newspaper of Vanderbilt University

The Vanderbilt Hustler

The official student newspaper of Vanderbilt University.
The official student newspaper of Vanderbilt University

The Vanderbilt Hustler

The official student newspaper of Vanderbilt University.

Class is in session for The Original Cast’s production of ‘Introduction to Astrology’

The Original Cast performed Broadway hits for each Zodiac sign in their latest student-orchestrated performance.
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Chloe Pryor
The Original Cast’s final pose after “I’m a Believer” at Rothschild Theatre, as photographed on March 31, 2023. (Hustler Multimedia/Chloe Pryor)

The Original Cast (OC) is a student organization that consists of talent from all areas of Vanderbilt from Blair voice majors to the Melodores to theater fanatics. Each semester, members generate a concept for their spring production and create a set list to help tell their story.  Directed by sophomore Kylie Frame, this year’s concept was “Introduction to Astrology,” or “ASTR 1100.” 

Every class has a lesson plan, and “ASTR 1100” is no different, with a cast member handing out a “syllabus.” This lesson plan featured earth, air, water and fire signs all having specific sections with “guest professors” teaching the audience about the respective Zodiac signs for each category. First-year Chloe Jalkut served as Music Director and senior Julia Iorio served as Producer. 

The night started with “No Reason” from “Beetlejuice” performed by sophomore Catie Scannell and first-year Peyton Burns, with Scannell playing the astrology professor and Burns’ character confused because the class was believed to be about astronomy not astrology. The duet was hysterical and introduced the first group of Zodiac signs: earth signs. Each song had either an emotional undertone or an amusing feature to it.

The guest professor, junior Andrew Hom, discussed Taurus, Virgo and Capricorn. Representing the hard-headed and tenacious sign Taurus, sophomore Riley Eddins and junior Jordan Haas performed “For Forever” from the Broadway musical “Dear Evan Hansen. The harmonies from the duo were fantastic and it was a spectacular rendition of the acclaimed musical number. The logical and practical Virgo was played by sophomore Izzie Binici, who sang “I Speak Six Languages” from “The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee.” The last earth sign was Capricorn. This diligent sign’s featured song was “Breathe” from “In the Heights,” performed by sophomore Nick Aguilar.

 

Before introducing the Air signs, sophomore Kylie Frame and junior Sam Myrick performed “What Do You Know About Love” from “Frozen: The Broadway Musical. The duo’s comedic and active performance was a great transition to the Air signs section. 

The air signs — Libra, Gemini and Aquarius — were introduced by first-year Ondrey Valentine. “On the Steps of the Palace” from “Into the Woods,” performed by first-year Chloe Jalkut,  depicted the extroverted Libra with a fast-paced song that also required Jalkut to be barefoot for half of the performance since the song is loosely based on “Cinderella.” Sophomore Rachel-Kate Picar’s rendition of “Pulled” from “The Addams Family” portrayed the loving but distant Gemini, with Picar’s Wednesday Addams being the perfect representation of the twin sign. The last air sign, Aquarius, was performed by Valentine, who sang “Aquarius” from “Hair. This number featured the entire OC ensemble dressed in their ‘70s-inspired costumes and was the final song before the brief intermission. 

Guest professor Izzie Binici, a sophomore, introduced water signs Scorpio, Pisces and Cancer. Scorpio’s number was “Cruising for a Bruisin’” from “Teen Beach Movie,” performed by Hom and junior Matt Eyles. It included the other members of the OC cast as dancers and background vocals. One cast member played a guitar solo in the song, which was a fan-favorite. To represent Pisces, senior Julia Iorio performed “Ireland” from “Legally Blonde” with a New Jersey accent. The song is about all the lost lovers that Iorio’s character had from Ireland and portrayed the lovesick Pisces in a humorous way. The last water sign, Cancer, was represented by “Hopelessly Devoted to You” from “Grease.” Junior Hailey Pfeiffer’s powerful rendition was a great way to conclude the water sign segment of the show. 

 

The transition song between the water and fire sign units was “Wouldn’t Change a Thing” from “Camp Rock 2: The Final Jam.” Junior Joshua Hunt played Shane Grey, equipped with an inflatable guitar, and junior Elena Woodburn played Mitchie Torres. 

Last but not least, the fire signs were presented by Iorio. Aries was displayed as passionate and a little harsh, with first-year Paityn Taylor-Gunter playing the Heather of all Heathers in her rendition of “Candy Store” from the musical “Heathers.” The next number included more members of the OC cast and was led by Eddins and Haas. “Seize the Day” from “Newsies” was a well-choreographed performance and was an excellent song for the assertive and compassionate Sagittarius. The last two numbers — representing the sign Leo — were hysterical. “Popular” from “Wicked” was performed by sophomore Andrew Smith, who took the role of Glinda and made the character even more iconic. The second Leo song was “Hard to be the Bard” from “Something Rotten!”— led by Eyles — who displayed the confident and luxury-loving Leo in an animated portrayal.

The “Finals Week” song featured every cast member belting out “I’m a Believer” from “Shrek The Musical.” Burns led the performance. The audience was standing on their feet by the end of the number.

Unsurprisingly, the OC crafted a fantastic show that had humor, amazing talent and a unique idea. The OC always gives high-level performances that could be on Broadway or “Glee. “ASTR 1100” is by far my personal favorite “course” at Vanderbilt and taught me a lot about Zodiac signs and musicals. I can’t wait for the next OC show, and all that’s left to say is class dismissed!

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About the Contributor
Chloe Pryor
Chloe Pryor, Staff Writer and Photographer
Chloe Pryor (‘26) is from Fort Smith, Ark., and is double majoring in psychology and communications studies. When not writing for The Hustler, you can fund her reading, drawing or running late for class. You can reach her at [email protected].
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