After the COVID-19 pandemic forced the cancellation of the Westfield High School musical in March 2020, Cyle Ginsberg was worried he might not get a senior show.
“I can’t overstate how excited I am to have the opportunity to perform,” Ginsberg said. “Although it’s definitely not what I expected it to look like, I’m grateful to be able to perform one last time on the Westfield stage.”
Ginsberg will perform in “Mis-Cast Musicals” at 7 p.m. April 23. In person and streaming options are available.
“I’ve always thought a cabaret would be interesting but didn’t realize how fun it would be until we started rehearsing,” Ginsberg said. “My favorite part of musical theater is the music, so listening to and performing songs from all different musicals is a blast. The theme of “Mis-cast Musicals’ makes the cabaret even more fun because we get the chance to sing songs we never regularly would.
“The big challenge in my number is a very high note at the end of the song. I’ve spent a lot of time rehearsing and training my voice to hit it.”
Director Lance Grubb said the concept is that each student performs roles they never thought they would play.
“The ‘Mis-Cast’ concept or ‘Backwards Broadway’ has been a cabaret theme for years,” Grubb said. “We chose to do this because it isn’t something that we would traditionally do, and it gives the students the chance to explore their creativity.”
Another reason the concept was chosen was to find a way to offer quality theatrical experiences for students in a safe environment.
“With regulations concerning COVID in mind, we decided that a performance rather than production would be best for this year,” Grubb said. “This also gave us the opportunity to find new and fun ways to enjoy theater in a different way.”
Senior Mallory Cooper said she loves the concept.
“In a traditional musical, there are a couple of lead characters that are the stars of the show,” she said. “With the cabaret, it gives so many more people the chance to shine with a solo or duet. Additionally, with everyone playing roles that they normally wouldn’t play gives the actors a chance to really explore outside of their comfort zones.”
Cooper’s song is “Maria” from “West Side Story.”
“It has been a bit challenging for me to relate to the character and the song so that I could have more emotion in my performance of the piece,” Cooper said. “The song is about being in love, which is something I’ve never really experienced before. As an actor, I often think of my own memories and experiences to give a more authentic performance, so I’ve had to do a lot more guessing work to get into character this time around.”
Like Ginsberg, Cooper is grateful to be able to perform.
“I know that a lot of schools in other areas haven’t been able to have performances at all or maybe just online, so the fact that we are able to have shows this year and to have them in person with live audiences is a really amazing thing,” she said. “This is most likely the only year Westfield High School will ever have a show like this, so it is a must-see performance.”
Ginsberg said the presentation will be the first high school show for many freshmen.
“I’m proud to say we have some amazing talent climbing the ranks and I’m very excited to see all they achieve, starting with the cabaret,” Ginsberg said.
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