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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 doctor is in for the Original Cast therapy session: ‘Codependency’

Original Cast performed for the second time this school year in a show all about relationships and the ways love messes with our heads.
Chloe Pryor
The Original Cast’s final pose for “Seasons of Love” from “Rent,” as photographed on March 30, 2023. (Hustler Multimedia/Chloe Pryor)

It may be over a month since Valentine’s Day has passed, but the Original Cast has still taken the time to dive back into our hearts with a therapy-themed love affair on March 29-30th with “Codependency.” The mastermind behind this year’s production is sophomore Peyton Burns who developed the original idea for the show. 

“We are following a therapist who specializes in love counseling, from crazy love problems or love successes, you could say, to love and love life adjacent,” Burns said.

When Burns asked her mom for advice about the theme for the show last fall, her mom suggested holidays like Christmas and Valentine’s Day, and at first Burns thought her mom didn’t understand what she meant. However, after some thinking on the topic of Valentine’s Day, Burns was able to craft the idea of a love therapist helping OC through their whirlwind and dumpster fire romances. 

“I hope that this show brings a smile to your face that you feel you can’t quite wipe off. I hope you laugh so hard that you pee your pants,” Burns wrote in the show handout. “I hope a few of the numbers put tears in your eyes. I hope you have your breath taken away by the sheer talent the Original Cast has to offer. Lastly, I HOPE YOU HAVE FUN!” 

The music director for OC, sophomore Ondrey Valentine, explained more about the song choices for the show.

“It encompasses ideas from a lot of musicals on Broadway that deal with love of all kinds,” Valentine said. “The songs are not all super well known, the audience will get exposure to new songs and some they already know… it’s a good mix. From platonic to romantic to breaking up to fighting, self-love even.” 

After the opening number “What is this Feeling” from “Wicked,” the audience was introduced to the love expert, senior Matti Angelides, who joined OC last semester. She has expressed her excitement in portraying the therapist for the show, with the role having Angelides on stage for the majority of the showtime. In the show, she can be seen sitting at her desk and commenting on any and all things love-related during the show, while also setting the scene from one song to the next.

“I get to watch everyone perform the whole time, they surprise me every time I watch them. Everyone is so unhinged,” Angelides said.

Angelides was hilarious in her role, with on-point facial expressions the entire night and her solo, “When You’re Good to Mama” from “Chicago,” being a highlight of the show.

Something that I have always loved about OC is their ability to tell a story. At one point in the show, senior Sam Myrick sits on Dr. Angelides’ couch and expresses how his girlfriend, sophomore Kat O’Mara, has been cheating on him for months with sophomore Apple Martin. This is the same plot as the musical “Falsettos,” so to stick with the theme, Myrick begins to sing “I’m Breaking Down” from the musical. The entire crowd was laughing at Myrick’s hysterics about being cheated on and his comical fake crying attempt by putting Vaseline under his eyes. Later in the night, Kat O’Mara and Apple Martin join the couch to talk about their relationship problems. The two sing “The Thrill of First Love” also from “Falsettos,” expressing their difficulties communicating. Throughout the number, Martin and O’Mara seemingly appear to be complete opposites, but the two end the song by climbing onto the couch and sharing a passionate kiss before the song ends.

Now there was one couple who had love success with little to no arguments, which was shown through two numbers, one in both acts. First-years Cameron Klein and Skylar Hack expressed being good friends outside of OC, making them ecstatic to perform together twice on stage. Klein had his solo in act one where he professes his love to Hack, saying that even if 50% of marriages end in divorce, she was never getting rid of him. He proceeded to dramatically sing “Never Ever Getting Rid of Me” from “Waitress,” and Klein and Hack’s comedic interactions made the number very memorable. Hack had her moment in act two with “Right Hand Man” from “Something Rotten,” expressing how she wanted to be Klein’s wingman in life. Throughout both numbers, the two had amazing comedic chemistry that had the entire crowd laughing from act one to two. 

Another duo that went on stage took out the silly moments and replaced them with a more romantic tone. The duet featured first-year Alexandra Biddle and sophomore Paul Vidger, who both joined OC this semester. In an interview with The Hustler, Biddle explains how she joined OC by chance. 

“I was looking for a fun thing to do on campus,” Biddle said. “I randomly saw one of the posters for the auditions. I think I definitely saw it was a fun community of people that were vastly different with one common love for the arts.” 

On stage, Biddle performed “Suddenly Seymour” from “Little Shop of Horrors” alongside Vidger. The two newbies were excellent in their debut, making their song sound romantic and intimate. 

To end act one, the OC boys joined forces for one of the most unhinged numbers of musical theater, “Turn it Off” from “The Book of Mormon.” The number featured tap dancing while the lyrics gave a satirical approach to the misconceptions about homosexuality. The entire song had people laughing, from senior Riley Eddins fake fighting first-year Soren Olsen to all the guys doing a kick line. Most of the OC cast anticipated the crowd would love “Turn it Off,” and it’s safe to say it was one of my favorite OC numbers ever. 

The entire production concluded with all members of OC joining the stage for “Seasons of Love” from “Rent.” It was beautiful to see the cast come together for a more heartfelt moment. Kat O’Mara, Riley Eddins and Ondrey Valentine all got to shine during the final number, and the entire cast seemed happy with the show and sad it had to end.

The OC cast at the end of “Seasons of Love” from “Rent,” as photographed on March 30, 2023. (Hustler Multimedia/Chloe Pryor) (Chloe Pryor)

This semester’s OC show had one of the best themes I’ve seen, because the topic opened the door comically but also musically, with more buried Broadway hits being brought to the audience’s attention. Every semester I never know what to expect from OC, but I do know that I will laugh and be amazed by their talent and creativity. Maybe OC has some “Codependency” issues, but I love them for it anyway. I can’t wait to see what they come up with next. 

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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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