Samuel Wolfsberg playing Hunter in the Olions production of [Title of Show]. Courtesy/LAHS Olions
By BONNIE J. GORDON
Los Alamos Daily Post
The Los Alamos High School Olions production of [Title of Show] (the clean version) is a great combination of the witty and the heartfelt.
The musical follows Jeff (Elijah Hanks) and Hunter (Samuel Wolfsberg), childhood friends and current collaborators, as they take on the challenge of writing an original musical to submit to a festival that is three weeks away.
Jeff and Samuel recruit two actress friends, Susan (Elise Ovaska) and Heidi (Kari Mason) and hire a keyboard player named Larry (Alexander Waters) to complete the ensemble. The musical follows the characters and the show from inception to Broadway.
Catchy songs and funny/poignant dialogue certainly contribute, but the real heart of the show is the characters. Originally played by the actual Hunter, Jeff, Heidi and Susan, the musical is a chronicle of the creation of a musical about creating a musical.
The Olions cast captures the theater obsessed, quirky, irreverent characters very well. Their youth is an asset. Like the characters in the musical, they’re just starting out. The four main characters, at once unsure and self-obsessed, are brought to life. Waters, as Larry the keyboard player, provides great musical back-up.
The set consists of four chairs and a keyboard. The costumes look like the ordinary clothes of the characters. The show is unpretentious and fun. The choreography is smooth and all the actors do a good job with the music.
It’s not like it’s easy to bring characters alive behind masks. Because of the pandemic, everyone performs masked. This sometimes muffles their words, especially during the songs, but in spite of this, the cast manages to get the feelings and most of the words to the audience intact.
A shout out goes to the entire tech crew for bringing off this miracle. Lighting design by Kaisa Drew and sound design by Logan Lacapa are perhaps the best I’ve seen at an Olions opening night. Stage Manager Esther Grow and directors Jason Rutledge and Savannah Brown also deserve the credit for making it all come together.
Get back in the live theater groove with the Olions tonight and May 21 and 22 at the Duane Smith Auditorium. General admission is $10 and student admission is $7. Tickets must be purchased in advance at http://our.show/title/of/show/lahs.