Scoot over, “High School Musical,” because Epic-Glee is here to slip, slide and ride that rhythm to the next level. The members of the only glee club on campus are determined to bop to the top of the music world, and this year’s annual variety show “The Spring Musicale” was one that the audience could not take their eyes off of.
The HSM trilogy may have concluded in 2008, but Epic-Glee brought back to life the iconic audition scene that occurred in the first movie. For background informational purposes: Troy Bolton, East High basketball star, meets Gabrielle Montez, a shy but beautiful bookworm, at a New Year’s Eve party. Towards the end of the film these two spontaneously decide to audition for “The Spring Musicale,” last-minute, upon discovering their love for music (and for one another). But what leads up to this audition is a series of comical attempts at the song “What I’ve Been Looking For,” a childhood memory which Epic-Glee fabulously recreated.
“Each spring show we do has a theme that we create a video around, and this year we have chosen the theme “High School Musical.” That is why we have named our show The Spring Musicale, as a homage to the movie,” said Becca Bastos and Cassie Corallo, co-directors of Epic-Glee.
The video played on a giant projector screen, but not just lovers of HSM were able to enjoy and relate to it; the audience laughed throughout this recreation, which featured zooming in on faces for comedic effect, silly versions of the audition song “Brand New,” and promoting their own group with subtle, clever references, such as with a poster for callbacks to the “The Spring Musicale,” which was used to transition into Act I.
Dressed in mostly black with pops of color, Epic-Glee entertained with a variety of songs and dances, and the occasional pun in reference to their HSM theme. The acts were either all performed together, or in duets, but there were a few solo performances and instruments as well.
“Our Annual Spring Variety Show is a culmination of all of the songs and dances we have been working on all semester put into one show,” said Bastos and Corallo. “We also showcase our members’ talents with intermittent “Variety Acts,” in which they can show off any special talents.”
Jackie Evans (musical coordinator and secretary) and Andrew Wong (musical director) performed “Bad Religion” as a duet; Alexis Costa performed the powerful “Heaven’s Gate‚“ and Noreen Healy and Emily Llewellyn danced in black and lace to “Whole Lotta Woman,” which was the sole performance without singing.
Audience members especially enjoyed upbeat musical numbers like “Dance with Somebody and “Uptown Funk,” as they all clapped to the beat and ecstatically encouraged the performers. Epic-Glee also danced and clapped down the aisles as a fun, interactive conclusion to Act I, with their performance of the song “Signed, Sealed, Delivered.”
Right before their final performance, Epic-Glee invited past alumni on stage to perform “Marching On” with them, during which photographs of graduating seniors and memories were showcased on the projector screen, and past and current members were able to reunite while doing what they all love—together.
Epic-Glee concluded their spring variety show with “No Roots,” which was a wonderful rendition of the classic.
“I think it’s really fun. It’s a mixture of a lot of different people, and it’s just cool for people that aren’t actual Theatre majors to have a new way to express themselves, without having to be in the actual shows, you know?” said fourth-year Education major, Brianna Gibbons.
The audience was able to bet on it that the performers broke free with the music marching on inside them. They were truly all in this together, as the members of Epic-Glee put on an entertaining performance for past alumni, current students, and guests of East High—I mean, SUNY New Paltz.
“We rehearse twice a week each week, and various times on our own or with our friends throughout the week. We write speeches, film our video, and do anything business-related that must be done in order to get this show on its feet,” said Bastos and Corallo. “It is a lot of work, but all of us have a love and a passion for this club, and that is what helps us to put on this show. We owe a lot of thanks to our E-Board, too, in helping this show come to life.”
You can stay updated on all things Epic-Glee by following their social media accounts: www.facebook.com/epicglee and @epicgleenp on Instagram.