Songs for a New World Review
February 28, 2017
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Despite a small audience, members of the Diamond Bar High School Theater Performing Arts Academy put on a show worthy of a full house and brought a whole new world to light.
Based on Jason Robert Brown’s 1995 musical “Songs for a New World,” the production features numerous storylines, connected only by the underlying theme of a single decision that changes one’s life. From the deck of a Spanish ship to the home of a flagmaker during the American Revolutionary War, individuals must make choices that determine their futures.
In general, the acting was engaging and the costumes, while simple, contributed to the overall dramatic mood of the production. “Just One Step,” performed by senior Julianna King, was dark yet funny with its portrayal of one woman’s attempt to draw attention from her rich, neglectful husband, while “She Cries,” performed by junior Luke Teerling, was hilarious with its portrayal of man’s difficulties with women.
However, not all was fun and games. Both “The Flagmaker,” sung by Amanda Revilla, and “Flying Home,” performed by Revilla and Chloe Reyes, were depressing portrayals of the American Revolution and modern war. “The World Was Dancing,” performed by senior Daniel Durkee and junior Mary Thomas, while energetic and upbeat in sound, was in reality an account of one man’s decision to leave his fiancée without a word.
The lighting also complimented the singing, with the spotlights changing color to match the mood of the scene.
However, the interaction between the main cast and the rock-type band was at times disappointing, with the band drowning out the singers on more than once occasion.
Overall, the production was a strong one that, while lacking a distinguishable plot, more than made up for it with its catchy melodies.