Be Italian on Mainstage
As the season’s only student directed show on Mainstage, Nine had a lot of expectations to meet. Mainly, it just had to be good. Luckily, they achieved this. Then again you can’t go wrong with a show filled with beautiful women.
The musical showcased fifteen very talented ladies who all dance and sang around an unfortunate director. The music was wonderful. Joshua Bean did a fabulous job with the orchestra, but still the show lacked something. It rested on its laurels. Though Joey Longstreet put together a very entertaining show, he failed to take risks and do something new or interesting. A lot of what made the show great was the choreography and not the directing. Julia Cataldo did a fantastic job bringing dance to Harvard theater. So many shows, especially the musicals, lack good choreography or proceed without attempting any at all. The level of dance achieved in Nine was very much appreciated.
The cast made the show. Guido, the lead, was played by David Sheynburg. It was a very intense role and he did it justice, though sometimes he got a bit lost in the role. Conveniently, this works for the character. His wife Luisa was played by Kyra Weeks. Though her portrayal was excellent, her solos were not right for her voice. They sounded a bit forced. Laura Sky Herman, who played Guido’s lover, did a fabulous job singing, dancing, and acting. Asia Stewart had the role of Claudia, and brought her usual class to the part. And as per usual, her singing was flawless. Guido’s mother was portrayed by Marisa Salatino. She did a good job of seeming motherly, but her lines seemed a bit too rehearsed. Guido’s producer was played by Sarah Rossman. Her performance of “Folies Bergeres” was my favorite part of the whole show. She was hysterical. Another talented freshman, Chloe Brooks, played Sarraghina. Her performance was particularly good, and had “Be Italian” stuck in my head for hours. That whole song was amazing. The tambourines were such a cool addition. The rest of the lovely ladies all did a wonderful job as well throughout the show.
The set left something to be desired. It was very minimalistic, with the only set piece being a tall wooden structure with a sheet hanging within it. It was very artistic and abstract, but more could have been done. This was made up for with the lights, which were designed by the talented Kat Zhou. The lighting was interesting and enhanced the scenes, while still managing to be a show in itself. The costumes, designed by Aislinn Brophy and Magdalene Zier, were phenomenal. They perfectly emanated the 1960’s and made all of the stunning actress more beautiful, while bringing color to the bleak set.
One of the best parts of the show was all of the freshman that were introduced to Harvard theater: Laura Sky Herman, Sarah Rossman, Carla Troconis, Chloe brooks, Annabel O’Hagan, Kiki Albanese, Ali Astin, and Genevieve Lefevre. I cannot wait to see these ladies perform more in the coming years!
This show is definitely worth seeing! There is a show tonight and some next weekend. Don’t miss it!