Singing for Sondheim

You should come to the winter musical


Photo by Josh Gornet

Senior Brynin Henderson joins her fellow singers in a rehearsal for a group number.

Drama Club’s winter musical, the “Sondheim Tribute Revue,” is perfect for fans of classic musicals, well-written scores and exciting choreography. It is a tribute to one of the most influential musical composers, Steven Sondheim, who passed away in November of 2021. The Drama Club has prepared a vibrant showcase of Sondheim’s songs with insightful narration in-between about Sondheim’s life and career. This musical is perfect for all students to attend because it has a wide assortment of songs for fans of all genres, along with a large cast of distinct characters with their own personalities. The musical is also a great way to support your friends and appreciate the talented technicians and actors in our school; all of which have put their heart and soul into making an enjoyable show.

No matter what genre of song you enjoy, the musical has something for you. Do you enjoy songs about love? Aspiration? Fairy tales? Longing? Baking questionable meat pies? These are just a few of the many different types of performances you will see. Even for those without a liking for this music, the Sondheim Revue is a great place to sample different genres and perhaps gain a new perspective.

“Watching the musical is really interesting,” costumes and makeup crew head Mya Thompkins said. “[The audience] might find something that they really enjoy or even new interests.”

Furthermore, both the cast and crew have worked hard to give each character a distinct personality. Through the actor’s choice of body language, the props they interact with and their costume and makeup design, each character represents a different everyday person on the streets of New York City, where their paths happen to cross as they break out into song and dance.

“The actors have worked on embodying a character and the voice for their singing,” music director Beth Fritz said. “Then they get past themselves and into something larger than their own individual person as they open up.”

The costumes crew plays a huge role in the creation of these characters. They work very closely with the actors to finalize the vision that each actor has for their character, which creates an even more immersive and exciting experience for the audience.

“I’m really excited to see how the audience feels about the characters,” Thompkins said. “We’re going for a New York vibe for the actors, so there will be a lot of street fashion and then some of them will be business casual.”

Aside from the thrilling performances of these wacky characters, there will also be narrators that will explain the fascinating life of Sondheim and the multitude of Broadway hits that he has written. This is a fun and upbeat way for the audience to learn a little bit of theater history and honor Sondheim’s memory as they wait for the next song.

“I’m most looking forward to the narration between the songs and seeing it all come together,” narrator Connor Gunkel said. “I have worked really hard on the narration. Since he died so recently, I want people to know what was so important about Sondheim and why he made such an impact, and see the cool stuff he worked on.”

In all, there are many reasons why coming to the musical will be entertaining for any audience member. However, beyond that, supporting the Drama Club is a great way to appreciate the talented artists in our school and the work that they do.

“I think it will be a good bit of entertainment, but I mostly believe that there’s so much talent at Fort Zumwalt West that people just don’t know about,” Fritz said. “That’s what a musical does; it really showcases the talent that’s sort of hidden, that most people wouldn’t see or even realize was there.”