Elon’s Performance of ‘Edges’ Showcases Students’ Talent

By Carolyn VanBrocklin

During CELEBRATE! week Elon students involved in the New Musical Project performed “Edges,” by Benj Pasek and Justin Paul.

“Edges” is a song cycle that “confronts the trials and tribulations of moving into adulthood and examines the search for love commitment and meaning,” according to Pasek and Paul’s Web site.

The cast of "Edges" sings "Like Breathing" as the finale of the performance.

The cast of "Edges" sings "Like Breathing" as the finale of the performance.

The songs don’t have a particular order or plot, but there is a feeling of conflict and resolution as it progresses.  “We are all representing the concept of growing up, relationships and worries after college graduation through different songs,” cast member Alexa Wildish said.

Each song in the performance has an intense quality that could be felt by all in the audience.  Each song showed the cast member’s inside struggle, whether it was entering or leaving a relationship, the reality of parenthood when there was a past mishap with the class pet or growing up into an adult.

The cast members brought their stunning voices and individual interpretations of the songs to the performance.  “Edges” has been produced before, but director Lynne Formato arranged all the previous versions into one entirely new version.

In addition, Pasek and Paul visited the class for a few days, and each student got to spend one on one time with them crafting their response to the song and making it their own.  As a result the cast members brought their passion to each performance that was easily felt in the audience.

Some memorable moments included “In Short,” sung by Maddie Franke, about the ending of a relationship where the girl is incredibly angry with her ex and describes all the bad things she wished would befall him.  Franke added her own twist to it, mentioning that she hoped her ex caught swine flu.

Ashlea Potts sings "Perfect."

Ashlea Potts sings "Perfect."

Several other songs addressed relationships, including “I Hmmm You,” about two young people in a relationship trying to decide if it’s appropriate to say “I love you,” or in contrast “I’ve Gotta Run,” about being in relationships but eventually feeling the need to get out.

“Caitlin and Haley,” is a touching song about two sisters at different ages seeing each other grow apart as the older one becomes interested in boys and makeup and finds the younger sister annoying.  Both wish things could just be the way they used to be.

Other songs that audience members can relate to are “Be My Friend,” a song about facebook.  With lyrics like “if [your picture’s] sexy I might just give you a poke,” and “I’ll be looking at you when you don’t even know,” the song “touched on an aspect that is unique to our generation,” sophomore Ross Denyer said.  “It’s a parody of the truth but it’s funny because it is true.”

Overall each of the individual talent had their chance to shine and show the audience gathered in the black box theater their strengths.  The different songs are a good mix of serious and lighthearted, and all of them in some way can be personally relevant.

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2 Responses

  1. Excellent work on this piece, Carolyn!

    Tip: Remember that review writers put everything in the present tense and you need to use that voice throughout. For instance, in the third paragraph up from the bottom of the story, you should be writing “is” and not “was”:

    “Caitlin and Haley,” is a touching song about two sisters at different ages seeing each other grow apart …

    You should try opening the photo of Ashlea Potts in Photoshop to adjust the levels. It looks like a picture that can be fixed with some minor adjustments. Right now her face is too dark; your audience wants to see that feature in the photo most of all.

  2. Did you take the photos yourself? You should add photo credits regardless – take credit if they are yours and give credit to someone else if they are from another photographer.

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