Cast n’ Crew finds way to show off student talent through virtual showcase

| Senior Cadenza Editor

On Friday, Oct. 30, Cast n’ Crew premiered their 2020 Fall Showcase via livestream on YouTube. The showcase consisted of three short group scenes and two musical performances, with the whole event lasting roughly 35 minutes. Between performances, the Cast n’ Crew logo was adorned with graphics and gifs, providing audience members with a brief, colorful scene transition. Before the show began, Cast n’ Crew President senior Jonny Bangser asked the audience to use the chat function in place of applause to express their enjoyment. 

The first group scene, “El Taco Feo Lives!”  was directed by junior JJ Coley and performed by sophomore Emmet Klein, junior Brylie Noe and freshman Max Juhas. The scene is an excerpt from the play “My William Shatner Man Crush,” a comedy about three roommates and the girl who has a crush on one of them. The scene itself, focused on Randy (Klein) and his job search, wearing a wrestling mask and shouting “El Taco Feo Lives” before taking his first steps outside in who knows how long. 

Next in the performance line up was “Potatoes and Molasses” from “Over the Garden Wall,” a T.V. miniseries that premiered on Cartoon Network in 2014. Sung in a shower by juniors Emma Lavetter-Keidan and Henry Vettel, “Potatoes and Molasses” was originally sung by Blasting Company. Lavetter-Keidan played the keyboard with one hand while simultaneously acting as percussionist by hitting a pot with a spatula, while Vettel played guitar. After their rousing and comedic musical display, Lavetter-Keidan and Vettel dove into a short scene, claiming that their musical performance was simply “an exercise” that Cast n’ Crew could cut out, with the scene being the real act. 

Real or fake acts aside, the showcase continued to provide humor and comradery despite the unusual circumstances. The next act was a short play titled “Death Takes the Train” by D.M. Larson, directed by freshman Barrett Wagner and performed by freshman Brandy Farmer, junior Meredith Levin and senior Lauren Kang. Death, in a skeleton mask and robe, takes the train to meet with a client. The three passengers, (Farmer, Levin and Kang) theorize why Death would take the train, throwing out ideas like environmental awareness and the restoration of the natural order of things. What starts as something amusing turns more serious as Dakota and Tina—Farmer and Kang, respectively—get off the train followed by Death. Are they his next victims? Their fate remained uncertain as the screen faded to black to transition to the next act, “Secondary Characters” from the musical “[title of show],” sung by Levin and sophomore Brenna Jones.

Their split-screen duet captured the emotions of a secondary character taking the opportunity to bask in the spotlight while the leads are offstage. Jones and Levin harmonized to the sounds of an upbeat piano, getting a little carried away as Jones ad-libbed in parts of the classic rock song “Dream On” by Aerosmith.

“Porcelain and Pink,” a scene by F. Scott Fitzgerald, directed by sophomore Cecelia Anderson, closed out the evening. Junior Stephanie Berger (Julie) opened the scene singing in her bathtub—a recurring theme for the evening—as freshman Peri Glick, who played her sister Lois, stumbled upon her impromptu concert. The short one-act by Fitzgerald is from a larger collection of short stories. Lois, needing the bathroom to get ready for her date with The Young Man (freshman Peter Michalski) gives Julie ten minutes to finish up. However, in that ten minutes, Lois’ date arrives and mistakes Julie for his evening’s company. Romance and laughs peppered by a slight fainting spell abound from the bathroom in this scene of love and mistaken identity. 

Traditionally, Cast n’ Crew would have held a performance in the Village Black Box, but unprecedented times call for unprecedented, hilarious measures. Their Fall 2020 Showcase was a success, showcasing student talent and fortitude when performances are few and far between.

Sign up for the email edition

Stay up to date with everything happening as Washington University returns to campus.

Subscribe