Arts and Entertainment

SING! Top Fives 2022

Reading Time: 11 minutes

Cover Image
By The Photo Department

Best Main Acting Performances

North Dakota South (Cynthia Tan, seniors)

North Dakota South, played by Cynthia Tan, was the disgruntled daughter trying to escape the South family’s poisonous generational wealth. Tan epitomized the emotionally stunted and rebellious attitude that accompanies her lavish upbringing. North Dakota’s growth when meeting Frances Francis, a poor girl from the village, was palpable, though their romance never came through. Broken by the death of her best friend, Montana, Tan painted the classic portrait of loss and indiscriminate anger. Tan’s moving performance of “The Night We Met,” gaining even the sympathies of underclassmen, secured Tan the best main acting performance.


Candy South (Leah D’Silva, seniors)

Leah D’Silva embodied the passive-aggressive mother Candy South, who served as the foil to her free-spirited daughter, North Dakota South, and her carefree husband, Kanye South. From the lively opening scene to her confessional rendition of “Gasoline,” D’Silva personified the character of the tormented socialite, despite the confusing plot and lack of motive for Montana’s murder working against her. Instead of portraying an indiscriminate villain, D’Silva brought humanity to her character by illustrating the conflict between her many identities: an overprotective mother, a resentful wife, and a guardian of her family’s legacy. She was a vocal powerhouse, never failing to bring the vigor to any sequence and producing electrifying performances throughout.

Zach (Berry Ongan, juniors)

Berry Ongan brought zest to the circus with their portrayal of Zach. As the ringleader of “Tiny Orange” circus, Ongan illustrated the dichotomy of the tyrannical leader attempting to keep the circus afloat and the empathetic friend to their fellow performers. Out of every SING! lead, Ongan’s character had the most significant development, realizing that the circus’s success was secondary to the family they had found at “Tiny Orange.” Ongan’s skills went beyond acting, featuring stunts like splits and baton twirling. They were a triple threat—acting, theatrics, and vocals—with their stellar performance of “Wake Me Up.”

Olive (Adeline Sauberli, soph-frosh)

Adeline Sauberli’s portrayal of Olive lived up to the spritely nature of the mythical nymphs. Sauberli’s interpretation of the enthusiastic sidekick was a refreshing twist on the classic archetype. In addition to her natural chemistry with Irene (Zoey Marcus), Sauberli offered comic relief and some striking vocal performances. The strengthening of Irene and Olive’s relationship over the course of the play, despite Irene’s individual turmoil, offered an uplifting storyline throughout the show.

Irene (Zoey Marcus, soph-frosh)

As the principal heroine Irene, freshman Zoey Marcus brightened up the show with her exceptional dramatics and euphonious singing. Her portrayal of a girl struggling to discover her identity was remarkably executed through her interactions with the nymphs and gods, and especially eminent when it was revealed that she was Psyche. Marcus also shone through her vocal performance of “Belle,” which immediately served to captivate the audience and consequently helped to invest them in the story.

Honorable mention: Ria (Pimada Phongsuriya, juniors)

Best Vocal Performances

Gasoline (Leah D’Silva, seniors)

Leah D’Silva’s powerful voice coupled with the haunting tune of Halsey’s “Gasoline” was one of the most memorable scenes of Senior SING!. The song makes up for the shortcoming of the plot, allowing D’Silva to take the stage and explain her reasons for Montana’s murder. D’Silva’s belting on the chorus interspersed with the more mellow verses highlighted her painstaking vocal control. Combined with a stellar band performance, a flow sequence, and red lighting, D’Silva’s performance left nothing to be desired besides a few more stanzas of the ballad.

The Night We Met (Cynthia Tan, seniors)

It takes talent to sing on stage and it takes even more talent to believably fake cry; Cynthia Tan did both, together. She mourned her best friend’s death with heartfelt lyrics through genuine sobs that enhanced the impact of her vocals. Tan’s performance was a perfect blend of singing and acting, delivering plot-driving lines and emotions as well as a sonically pleasing performance. Tan was able to deliver beautiful melodies that held audiences’ attention, even with a well-paired modern performance in the background.

Wake Me Up (Berry Ongan, juniors)

Berry Ongan’s voice during their execution of Avicii’s “Wake Me Up” had forceful strength that permeated through the room. Their incredible projection carried their voice through the auditorium—no mic required. The enthusiasm from Ongan’s acting performance persisted in their singing, as they delivered a spirited performance that enthralled the crowd.

Belle (Zoey Marcus, soph-frosh)

In the opening scene of SophFrosh SING!, Belle (Zoey Marcus) found herself in a dull neighborhood surrounded by mountains. Marcus consequently transitions into a rendition of Disney’s “Belle,” where her vocals were emphatic throughout the audience. Her performance not only served as a well-crafted introduction, but also helped the audience become invested in Belle’s journey to discover her identity.

Beggin’ (Samuel Espinal Jr., seniors)

While most of us recognize Maneskin’s “Beggin’” from our TikTok “For You” pages, Samuel Espinal Jr.’s take on the chart-topping song served as both a plot device and an audibly enjoyable performance. Espinal Jr.’s soft yet persistent vocal performance, paired with the crew’s movement, made for a memorable moment.

Honorable mentions: The Family Madrigal (Adeline Sauberli, Arshia Mazumder, soph-frosh), My Petersburg (Zoey Marcus, soph-frosh)

Best Moments

Senior Opening Scene (seniors)

The Senior SING! opening scene was as lavish as the South family. The energetic rendering of Barry Manilow’s “Copacabana” featured Micahel Borzcuk and Leah D’Silva’s booming vocals and lush instrumentals created a glistening introduction. This bustling sequence featured some of the best chemistry between Mr. and Mrs. South. The strong vocals over the triumphant instrumentals offered an exhilarating start to the show.

Senior Alibi Song (seniors)

In search of Montana’s murderer, six suspects were picked out of the masquerade ball, each of whom provided justification for their innocence. The scene was rhythmically appealing, with the senior chorus providing vocals and bringing anticipation to the investigation by creeping in on each subject, cornering them to confess. In addition to driving the plot, the song helped showcase the immense vocal talent of each Senior SING! cast member.

Irene’s Breakdown (soph-frosh)

After receiving a coldhearted talk from Aphrodite (Louise Wang) about the triviality of searching for Psyche, Irene (Zoey Marcus) went into a complete breakdown. Marcus’s ability to so aptly showcase Irene’s distressed state of mind in contrast with Aphrodite’s fury and indifference made for a heart-wrenching scene that certainly moved the audience members themselves.

Montana Carried Off Stage (seniors)

Senior SING! understood that dead characters can’t walk off the stage…they’re carried on a table by the tech crew. Now that’s commitment.

Elephant Cameo (juniors)

The audience went wild when Junior SING! Executive Producer Lianne Ohayon pranced onto the stage in an elephant onesie and revolted against her trainer Ellie (Zoe Buff) for being overworked. It’s ironic, as SING! participants always complain about the directors overworking them.

Honorable mention: Sean and Opal Duet (juniors)

Best Mistakes

Thursday: I’m Yours Acapella (David Jiang, soph-frosh)

As Olive and Irene seek out Hephaestus’s knowledge on the whereabouts of Psyche, Apollo (David Jiang) cuts in with a solo of “I’m Yours” acapella accompanied by the soph-frosh band. However, within the first few seconds of his vocal performance during the Thursday show, the musicians abruptly cut out. In a turn of events, Jiang admirably was able to improvise his execution of the song, with an accompaniment of claps reverberating from the audience in support. Thus, an unexpected miscoordination between the band and the cast proved to accentuate SophFrosh SING!, with Jiang receiving praise for his quick thinking and ability to rile the audience.

Thursday: “Do you think it’d look better if I put the blue shawl on top?” (seniors)

Throughout the opening night, the microphones stayed on backstage, blessing the audience with an earful of whispers. While these audio issues largely distracted from the performances, a few errors broadcasted funny quips to the audience. Of these, the most memorable occurred when Candy South (Leah D’Silva) stood on stage, waiting for her fellow thespians to walk out, while they were still figuring out the placement of their blue shawl. “Do you think it’d look better if I put the blue shawl on top?” roused some well-needed laughs from the audience, and added comedic relief to a milieu of technical errors.

Thursday: Leah Standing Alone (seniors)

While Thursday shows are notorious for being less polished than their weekend counterparts, Senior SING!’s technical errors gave way to a wonderful mistake. As she waited for her co-actors alone on stage, D’Silva improvised by talking to the audience and cueing her co-actors to hurry up. Her confidence on the stage was appreciated and at least somewhat compensated for the awkward situation. More than just D’Silva, the cheers and claps from the audience added camaraderie to the SING! show that was sorely missed in 2021.

Friday: Flow Fling (seniors)

Flow lights are spun with such ferocity that you can barely see them individually. They form lines of multi-colored LEDs, circles of flashing lights, and imperceptible formations; so when a dancer loses grip of a light revolving at 100 RPMs, things end badly. If you were sitting in the front rows on Friday, you may have just narrowly avoided a yo-yo to the head.

Friday: Mic Issue “What’s my line again?” (soph-frosh)

It’s been mentioned that Thursday shows lack some polish, but the same goes for the first show the following night. Despite SophFrosh SING!’s domination on Thursday night, leaving the Stuyvesant building past 11:00 p.m. does not do one’s sleep cycle any favors. The lack of rest and overconsumption of caffeine wore away the memories of some participants, leaving one of the actors clueless about their next line, which was revealed through a technical error. At least the mistake was off stage.

Best Band Performances

Copacabana (seniors)

This is Me (juniors)

Love Grows (soph-frosh)

Immortals (soph-frosh)

The Other Side (soph-frosh)

Honorable mention: I Don’t Wanna Live Forever (soph-frosh)

Best Non-Performing Crews

Senior Costumes

Senior Costumes stole the show with gala-worthy, graceful dresses that were presented by the cast. Both Leah D’Silva’s opening green dress and hoop dress from the ball, as well as Christine Lin’s yellow dress, were particularly notable, showcasing the costume crew’s astounding talent.

Senior Set

The Masquerade theme set aesthetic expectations high, and the senior set crew carried through. The palace had sturdy construction, vibrant colors, and multiple levels of elevation. The stage was full, glamorous, and creatively executed.

Junior Art

Junior art certainly showcased their exceptional aesthetic talent, with glamorous designs shining on the sets. Murals of the main cast (Sean, Bobert, Ria, Zach, Ellie, Opal) were wonderfully designed, with careful attention to detail.

Soph-Frosh Tech

The soph-frosh tech crew gets kudos for their coordinated set changes. They were swift and speedy during transitions and didn’t leave props on the stage, though that may also be credited to the set being light.

Senior Lights

Good lighting is a theater fundamental for, one, letting the audience see the action on the stage and, two, creating an atmosphere that accents the stars. Senior lighting’s use of spotlights and colors streamlined the audience’s attention and emphasized the mood of the scenes.

Honorable mention: Junior Costumes

Best Supporting Acting Performances

Fandango (Clara Shapiro, seniors)

Decked down by a scarf of giant, connected wieners across her shoulders, Clara Shapiro’s character was the perfect comic relief. Every time she came on stage, you expected to laugh. Her eccentric acting and witty remarks brought comedy to the murder mystery.

Frances Francis (Christine Lin, seniors)

Christine Lin shone as Frances Francis, a charismatic friend to North Dakota South. Lin was able to portray the lower class view of the affluent half of society while simultaneously on the search for a romantic companion.

Kanye South (Michael Borczuk, seniors)

Michael Borczuk played the part of the “quirked up rich boy with a little bit of swag.” He was a simp and doting husband with a funny ego problem, perfectly balancing Leah D’Silva’s composed and more practical character.

Sean (Max Hesse, juniors)

Max Hesse flawlessly played the part of both the puppet master and the puppet. So much so that it seemed as though the puppet was played by another voice. That swift tone switch and humorous puppet quips filled the cliché puppet-guy role with pizzazz.

Aphrodite (soph-frosh)

Portraying the goddess of love is a tall task. Luckily, Louise Wang rose to the occasion, going above and beyond in her role as Aphrodite. Wang portrayed her manipulative attitude and back-handed comments to great lengths, earning the respect of the audience as the snarky antagonist of the show.

Honorable mentions: Scaramouche (Samuel Espinal Jr., seniors), Apollo (David Jiang, soph-frosh)

Best Dance Performances

Senior Bolly and Belly

Belly’s hip movements, coordination, and coin belt sounds were hypnotizingly harmonious. The Belly and Bolly performances had a perfect transition: half the Belly dancers stayed on as partners for the Bolly dancers for another jaw-dropping performance, leaving everyone raving about the performance during intermission.

Senior Modern

Senior modern’s basket catch was easily one of the most impressive stunts of the night. Their seamless, delicate choreography melded perfectly with Tan's graceful voice.

SophFrosh Step

Soph-frosh step walked onto the stage in unassuming costumes, but their performance defeated all odds. With various formations, unprecedented enthusiasm, and some of the most in-sync moves of any performance, SophFrosh stepped their game up on the SING! stage.

Junior Flow

The first act in the circus, Junior flow was an elaborate light show that flowed seamlessly. Glowing batons and ribbons flew through the air in colorful, synchronized routines. The routine felt like a firework show, an appropriate start to the junior circus.

Junior Step

Junior step’s sequence of stomps and claps was unique in its variety and unification. The sounds were sharp and pronounced. Not a member stepped out of line in the perfectly executed routine.

Honorable mention: Senior Latin

Best Costumes, Makeup, and Styling

Candy’s hoop dress (Leah D’Silva, seniors)

Frances’s dress (Christine Lin, seniors)

North’s mask (Cynthia Tan, seniors)

Zach’s costume (Berry Ongan, juniors)

Aphrodite’s costume (Louise Wang, soph-frosh)

Honorable mentions: Bobert’s clown outfit (Kevin Xiao, juniors), Opal’s dress (Emily Young-Squire, juniors)

Best Jokes

“Weiners of great size, and most importantly, personality!”—Scaramouche (Samuel Espinal Jr., seniors)

“No, a hamadryad is a type of nymph. Seriously, a Brooklyn Tech student could tell you that.”—Olive (Adeline Sauberli, soph-frosh)

“These hands are rated E for everyone, including hot goddesses.”—Olive (Adeline Sauberli, soph-frosh)

“What are you, an anti-masker? It’s my first amendment right, you fool!”—Fandango (Clara Shapiro, seniors)

“What are you doing out of the forge? Aren’t there broken escalators to be fixed?”—Aphrodite (Louise Wang, soph-frosh)

Best Disses

“There will be thousands of tabloids written about what you wear, who you speak to, hell, even which Junior Caucus members you associate with.”—Candy (Leah D’Silva, seniors)

“You can’t walk in there with your upside-down health screening like Alice in Wonderland.”—(Guard, soph-frosh)

“I’ve read his scathing review on that knock-off Percy Jackson musical– What was it called?”—Ellie (Zoe Buff, juniors)

“Ad for Ferry’s, elephant massages, and an invitation to watch Senior SING? Yeah, no thank you. (Rips and tosses the ad behind them)”—Zach (Berry Ongan, juniors)

“You could have been anywhere in the world tonight but you are here with us in New York City, and not SophFrosh 2021’s version of it. (shudders)”—Zach (Berry Ongan, juniors)