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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.

The Original Cast strutted to center stage for their fall production, ‘Curtain Call’

The Original Cast’s fall performance showed the twists and turns that occur when making a musical filled with wacky props and hilarious duets.
Chloe Pryor
The cast of OC in their groups for “Stick to the Status Quo,” as photographed on Dec. 1, 2023. (Hustler Multimedia/Chloe Pryor)

The Original Cast (OC) returned to the stage for their fall production, “Curtain Call,” centered around the process of creating and rehearsing a musical. As those familiar with the theater know, the audition process, rehearsal schedule and opening night are all high in stress, chaos and excitement. OC captured this whirlwind by putting together a show using songs from beloved musicals like “Dear Evan Hansen” and “Shrek the Musical.” 

Each semester, OC cast members pitch ideas for the new show and the cast votes on the idea they like best. The winning pitch for this semester came from senior Anabela Caiola, who wanted to pay tribute to the dramatic yet fruitful process of creating a musical. Caiola explained that this was her last time performing with the cast, which sparked the idea to show the full process from convincing people to audition to the final product. 

“This show felt like a way to both celebrate the unforgettable times that we shared on stage, while also poking fun at the high stress and dramatic parts of being in a theater group,” Caiola said.

Caiola also dedicated this production to her Uncle Luigi Caiola, who passed away recently. He was an 8-time Tony Award winner and producer for the Broadway musical “Dear Evan Hansen” which is featured several times throughout the OC show, as the songs have developed a new meaning for Caiola. 

To start off Act I, all 22 cast members joined the stage in three groups to perform “Stick To The Status Quo” from “High School Musical.” Senior Matt Eyles was a jock who loves baking, junior Izzie Binici a nerd that can pop and lock and senior Elliott De Boer was the skater who plays the cello. Each one was chastised by the rest of the cast for being different, and it was comical to see their reactions when Binici danced and De Boer explained what a cello is. 

To transition to the audition section of the show, we saw first-year Soren Olsen belt out “Man Or Muppet” from “The Muppets.” As Olsen sang, the audience saw sock puppets as his background singers on the sides of the stage. The song continued with junior Noah Weitzel singing his best muppet impression alongside Olsen as the audience laughed along. Weitzel is the Deputy Opinion Editor for The Hustler. 

Senior Andrew Hom singing while holding an inflatable baseball bat, as photographed on Dec. 1, 2023. (Hustler Multimedia/Chloe Pryor) (Chloe Pryor)

Puppets were not the only props used throughout the evening. Seniors Andrew Hom and Sam Myrick used baseball mitts and inflatable baseball bats for the dance number “I Don’t Dance” from “High School Musical 2.” In the song, Myrick tried to convince Hom to join the musical, yet Hom was adamant that dancing is not for him. As one of my favorite “High School Musical” series songs, it was hilarious to see it performed on stage with the actors capturing the silliness from the original. Act I was full of treasured classics and featured so many entertaining moments, with “Man Or Muppet” being added to my playlist as I write this.

Actors from OC posing at the end of number “Someone in the Crowd,” as photographed on Dec. 1, 2023. (Hustler Multimedia/Chloe Pryor) (Chloe Pryor)

After a brief intermission, Act II began with “Someone in the Crowd” from “La La Land.” Apple Martin, a sophomore, played the director for this imaginary play and taught the cast how to be more entertaining. To accomplish this, she sang “Razzle Dazzle” from “Chicago.” The entire crowd clapped and cheered throughout the song, with Martin’s theatrical dancing and Chicago native impression as the highlights of the performance. She continued to play this brutally honest director character throughout the remainder of the show, popping up during different numbers.

Another show highlight came from sophomores Peyton Burns and Sam Myrick in their duet of “Only Us” from “Dear Evan Hansen.” 

“I’m excited because we are really close friends and we have never gotten to do a duet together,” Myrick said.

To set the scene for the duet, Martin returned to the stage as the sassy Chicagoan director, grilling Burns and Myrick about their duet. In the rehearsal scene, Burns’ and Myrick’s characters were awkward and distant, with Martin telling the couple to get it together. The two sat side by side on stage, looking deeply into each other’s eyes as they sang the romantic song. 

To end Act II and “Curtain Call,” the entire cast joined on the stage for the last number “It’s Time to Dance” from “The Prom.” Cast members came from the crowd and off stage during the number to dance and the entire audience was on their feet cheering before the song finished. 

I have attended every OC show since their Fall 2022 production, “Prom,” and this year’s production reminded me why I come back. The cast does the entire process together, from the theme of the show to the music and choreography. “Curtain Call” exhibits many reasons why people support musical theater, from the witty banter and silly props to the playful choreography. 

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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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