The Senmores triumph once again as they steal the grand prize at Port Richmond High School's annual SING production. With a witty, clever and hilarious script, along with first-class acting and spectacular musical numbers, it’s no surprise why the Senmores (the seniors and sophomores) were victorious. Led by overall directors Amanda Huebler and Kevin Mullucks and script directors Michael Settanni, Brandon Vazquez and Matthew Zayas, the Senmores’ production, titled “Oh My Gods!,” portrayed Greek mythology in an innovative and never-before-seen way.
Trouble was brewing on Mount Olympus as the evil Hades (an out-of-this world Annjolynn Cales) and several other gods caused trouble on Earth and tried to overthrow Zeus (a magnificent Joshua Varela, who seemed like he was born to play this role). It seemed Hercules (an entertaining Matt Feldman) was the only one who could stop Hates and her followers, until Aphrodite (an enchanting MaryKate Mooney) set her eyes on him and called upon Cupid (an uproarious Kierstin Gregoriades) to shoot Hercules with an arrow of love and make him fall in love with her. Unfortunately for Aphrodite though, Hercules ends up falling in love with the flamboyant Hermes (an amusing Matthew Zayas), and the two begin an unusual and controversial romance. In the end though, all concludes well when the residents and gods of Mount Olympus convince Hades to give up her evil ways, and Aphrodite finds love, strangely enough, with Hideki Matsui (a side-splitting Shohei Komatsu).
Senmore SING was truly wonderful. You could really see all the hard work that went into making it a success. There were several stunning set changes, led by art director Nathan Cofano. All of the sets were so life-like and vivid, almost as if you truly were visiting Mount Olympus. The musical numbers and choreography were outstanding as well. The dancing, led by dance director Brianne Whalen, was crisp and fresh. The movement was organized and amazing to look at, almost as if it were a professional dance company. The musical numbers were especially fantastic. Several songs such as Billy Joel’s “Vienna” and “Somebody to Love” by Queen were executed wonderfully and given sharp new lyrics. Things even got a little sentimental when it was time for the Senmores to sing their “alma mater,” and the seniors were able to express their fond memories of four years of SING and how heartbroken they were to say goodbye. The “alma mater” was performed to Yellowcard’s “Only One.” PRHS Senior Dan Aliotta says, “They wanted their last year to be really special.” And special it was.
However, although Senmores held that gold trophy this year, it would be a crime not to talk about Junmen (juniors and freshmen) SING. Even though Junmen didn’t win this year, their hard work, dedication and extraordinary talent should in no way be downplayed. Led by overall directors Kevin Forsyth, Stephanie Como and Chris Scott (Scott also served as script director), the Junmens’ SING, called “The Mansion,” was a showcase of creativity, horror and hilarity.
On what was meant to be another ordinary Halloween evening, several students (the talented J.C. Nieves, Shana Morris and Stephanie Martinez, among others) instead decide to explore a mansion that is notorious for its midnight hauntings. According to legend, every Halloween night at midnight, the mansion becomes occupied by several scary and evil monsters. So of course the students want to check it out. When the students get to the mansion, they are greeted by the evil and mad owner, Jigsaw (an enthusiastic Chris Scott), and are attacked by several movie serial killers such as Jason, Freddy Kruger and Emily Rose from The Exorcism of Emily Rose. Several amusing plot points such as an unexpected visit from Kanye West and a heroic appearance from Keanu Reeve’s The Matrix character (a riotous Kevin Forsyth) make for a hilarious and entertaining show.
Overall, Junmen SING truly was a show not to be missed. The musical numbers and choreography were stunning. The dancing, led by dance director Jelicia Jimenez, was outstanding. The performance of Michael Jackson’s “Thriller” was amazing and extremely professional. It was almost like watching the video. Almost. The movements were sleek and chic. The Junmen also executed wonderful musical numbers, such as The Beatles’ “Help!.” I must also mention the costuming and makeup for the Junmen. The zombie costumes and makeup were a visual pleasure. The costuming for Jason, Kruger and Emily Rose were also great to look at. Port Senior Roxana Romero claims, “They did good. Considering a lot of them are freshmen and this is their first musical, they did alright.” Junior Alysa Andrade exclaimed, “Their show was awesome and I wanted them to win.” However, despite their loss to the Senmores, the Junmen prove that they are in fact a force to be reckoned with.
Another interesting portion of the night was the fact that Michael Jackson was a big theme among both shows. Like I mentioned before, the Junmen included a rendition of “Thriller” during their show as well as students running into the ghost of Michael Jackson, decked out in a fedora and military jacket, in the mansion. The Junmen’s “alma mater” finale piece was performed to MJ’s “Heal the World”. The Senmores also included Jackson into their show with their own version of “Bad,” performed brilliantly by Annjolynn Cales and Jenna Jankowski.
All in all, both shows were wonderfully artistic, creative and entertaining. Both teams showed amazing sportsmanship. Aside from both teams playfully chanting, “You suck!” at each other, both teams made sure to cheer each other on and praise each other. The Junmen took their loss like champions, and the Senmores made sure to include the Junmen in their win. Senior Dan Aliotta says, “They each showed respect for each other.” Principal Gannon expresses, “This year’s SING was one of the best examples and showcases of Raider spirit and our talent. There was great energy and talent portrayed. Both groups deserve to be here.” Both groups definitely did deserve to be on that stage, and both teams are champions.