The show begins with the principal (played by director/choreographer Regina Peluso, who also gets a dance or two, and to show the other side of her character too) calling the assembly (i.e., us) to order. She and "drama king" George (Ben Siglin) are the only ones to speak throughout the show; the dancing does most of the talking. Eight dancers (also including Jarod Boltjes, Megan Carver, Renee Guittar, Patrick Jeffrey, Grace Kidder, Javan Mngrezzo, and Rachel Seeholzer) portray the usual high school stereotypes - the spoiled princess, the cheerleader, the nerd, the jock, the rebel. We follow these familiar characters through a school day, Saturday detention (similarities to The Breakfast Club and other '80s movies are intentional), and the all important Prom night. Company dances alternate with solo dances, in which we get to know each character a little better, and see that they're more than how they're perceived. Their detention assignment is to write an essay on the subject "Who Am I?" (a big topic for even grown adults), and we get to see a dance version of each essay that reveals neglectful or abusive parents, bullying, and other difficulties these kids are hiding behind their high school persona. The choreography and the dancers do a beautiful job of conveying all the angst, pain, confusion, uncertainty, and joy of being a teenager.*
The soundtrack is a selection of recorded music - original artists Queen, Prince, Cher, Bruce Springsteen, and more, plus some more recent covers of '80s songs. It's a great soundtrack, and each of the songs tells a story, but I do miss the live band and vocalists that Collide used to have in their shows pre-pandemic, and I hope they're able to return to that soon.
|photo by Alexis Lund