Musical Theater Showcase Brings Broadway Songs to West

Tejal Mathew

The Plano West theatre program presented its musical theatre showcase, titled All Together Now!, on November 12, 2021.

The show, consisting of various musical numbers in one performance, was performed featuring nearly thirteen different songs from thirteen musicals.

“It’s a musical theatre review, and each of the performances stand alone,” said Kaci Wilhelm, one of the theatre department’s teachers helping out with the performance. “We’re making accessory pieces for characters, instead of putting full costumes on them.”

Multiple technical theatre classes, though not involved with the review, have been working to develop the accessories and get them prepared for next week. “Be Our Guest”, from the musical Beauty and the Beast, is one of them.

“We got cardboard, and peeled a part of it so it would be easier to mold into a cylinder shapes for Lumiere’s candles,” said Natalya Talih, a senior in Mrs. Wilhelm’s Technical Theatre II class. “We put hot glue to make the candle look like it’s dripping. And now we’re putting cardboard on top of it for the fire. After this we’ll paint it. That’s our process.”

For Beauty and the Beast, the theatre classes are helping cut and mold designs for the characters, as well as paint large spoons to use in the number.

“We measured out a hat and cut it out with cardboard, and then painted everything brown,” said Ben Raza, a junior. He has worked to develop the costume for Cogsworth. “The front is going to be painted cream, and after the paint dries we’ll draw on some of the clock ticks and numbers. It took about three class periods to get this part done.”

The number was performed, along with other popular musical songs such as “Seize the Day” from the Newsies and “When I Grow Up” from Matilda, live at the showcase on Friday in the Plano West auditorium. The technical director, Cassidy McQuiston, said she was “incredibly proud” of the technicians working on the review.

“The showcase was much more involved than it has been in the past and our students rose to the occasion,” Mrs. McQuiston said, “The technical elements of the show were completely student created — from our Tech I to our Technical Theatre Productions Honors class. The tech production students took on the role of lighting designers — each designing a musical number. I was incredibly impressed by their creativity and their support of one another throughout the process.”

As for the theatre department and its classes’ next mission, the Spongebob Squarepants Musical will begin construction from November and see continuous improvements until the opening night scheduled for the first week of February.

“All Together Now was a small production in comparison to what SpongeBob will be,” McQuiston said, “Technicians will clean and reorganize the space as we step into production build before heading into the fall break.”