By Sarah Dolgin
Volume 69, Issue III
It would be an understatement to say that this year’s spring musical was exemplary. A more appropriate description of the show would include words such as whimsical, unique, and fantasmagorical. Community members, faculty, family members, and friends were blown away by their fellow students’ transformations into Vulgarian royalty and spies, along with the eccentric Potts family members.
Prior to the show, the concept of putting on a production centered around a flying car seemed nearly impossible, but Ian Driver and his production team proved yet again that anything is possible when it comes to the Briarcliff Theater crew. With only a few weeks to put together the set due the Rivertowns orchestra performance in February, the technical crew of Chitty Chitty Bang Bang spent countless hours laboring over complicated projections of the car, putting together the set and the car itself, and complex sound and lighting cues, all of which made the production act as a seamless glance into the magical world of flying cars-and humans that can swim from London to Vulgaria in the blink of an eye.
Although the musical was comedic and witty, the show additionally alluded to aspects of World War II, as the Vulgarians and their dictatorship was meant to represent the tyranny in Germany throughout the time of Hitler’s reign. By banning children in Vulgaria, the baron and baroness were meant to represent Nazi Germany as inhumane. Depicting the hidden children as malnourished and terrified, a statement was made regarding human rights violations ever-present during the time period.
The complex choreography, and well as the beautiful musicality of each and every song made it feel as though viewers were watching a professional theater company’s production. It was incredibly impressive to witness the incorporation of accents into the production, both the English accents, and the Russian/German accents of the Vulgarian characters. Delving into the charismatic and wonky personalities of each individual character was no simple task for the cast of the musical, but with a combination of positivity, endurance, and risk-taking, each cast member took command of the show and made it into a work of pride. Earning a well-deserved standing ovation at the end of each performance, it is clear that Chitty Chitty Bang Bang was none other than a success, and a production to remember.