It was like sitting in some big theatre watching a high budget production . . . but it wasn’t.
In reality, the place was Frank Collymore Hall and the production was the musical 13 –– the matinee version.
The play follows a 13-year-old by the name of Evan (Chad Montplasir) who, because of his parents’ divorce had to leave his life, friends and all that he knows in the wonderful New York City to move up thousands of miles away to the strange land of Indiana.
After the move, Evan meets his new neighbour Patrice (Sarah Ponton), as well as Archie (Tarla Morris), and immediately they become friends. Of course, the three do not escape the cliques at their local secondary school, and as Evan prepares for his Bar Mitzvah, he is forced by Brett (Michael Cadette) to choose between his “true” friends or fitting in with the more popular kids at school.
Sadly, he publicly humiliates Patrice and Archie to conform. Things are not as rosy on the other side as he thought, but he soon finds this out when he too is ostracized by the popular students. In the end, Evan realizes what he did was wrong, and the rest, as they say, is high school history.
What stood out most about this musical was that the group Operation Triple Threat are some of the most talented young people in Barbados, hands down. It is safe to say that they were indeed a triple threat as for nearly two hours the group were precise with their acting, singing and dancing. It has action-filled, drama-filled, energy-filled, purely hilarious, and the packed hall loved it.
Much credit also must go to director Janelle Headley, who would have spent countless hours training the bunch to bring the Jason Robert Brown-written play to life.
If there had to be a negative mentioned about the play, though, it would be that it was too American. From the “high school”, where the children attended, to the “Dairy Queens”, where they hung out. It is understood the play was American in origin and that the message was universal, but had it been adapted to at least having one or two Barbadian inferences the loads of students in the audience would have related to it even more.
Operation Triple Threat (OTT) is a year-round developmental performing arts programme for students between the ages of seven and 21, providing rigorous and comprehensive training in the three disciplines of singing, dancing and acting to accomplish its vision of fostering future. 13 opened tonight at 7 p.m., and the final gala night is on Saturday, April 19, at 7 p.m.
More photos are available for viewing in our 17/04/2014 digital ePaper at http://epaper.barbadostoday.bb.