Arts and Entertainment

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Junior SING! 2023 coverage.

Reading Time: 4 minutes

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By The Photo Department

“Gates have now been closed! Let the excitement begin!” 

Coordinated by Caroline Stansberry and produced by Kyle Hon Chan, Jeanice Deng, Avi Liu, and Eliza Oppenheimer, this year’s 51st Junior SING! featured new girl Claire (Arshia Mazumder) and her best friend Agni (Dinah-Luba Beylison). The two were on their way to Camp Smoking Hot, which was divided into four cabins: Wind, Fire, Water, and Earth. While Claire had been placed in the Wind cabin, Agni was placed in the Fire cabin, so they promised each other that they would not allow this division to interfere with their relationship. This promise, however, went up in flames with the introduction of main antagonist Ivy (Alex DiLella), a member of the Earth cabin, and the murder of Skylar (David Jiang), a member of the Wind cabin who made continuous attempts to flirt with Claire.

The show started off with a rendition of “Another Day of Sun,” where members of each cabin came together in joyful anticipation of their experiences ahead. Unfortunately, the lights and sound crew experienced some complications with the opening as many of the actors did not have functioning mics, making it difficult for members of the audience to fully understand the lyrics. The camp counselor (Margaret Mikhalevsky) then provided an overview of the camp. Each cabin made their grand entrance, but the Earth cabin was completely overlooked by the camp counselor. The camp counselor announced that the cabins would be competing for the coveted elemental cup and that each cabin must undergo a series of challenges in order to succeed. This intensified rivalry among the cabins, which was followed by a ceremonial tradition featuring a lengthy performance from the thunder brigade: junior step.

The competition began with a game of tug of water between Fire and Water, where actors struggled to untangle the rope in a lengthy but chuckle-worthy technical issue during the Thursday show. In order to ensure their victory, the members of the Fire cabin then brought out the fire demons, junior Bolly, who danced along as the contestants competed. Ultimately, the fire demons lit up the path to victory for the Fire cabin, who rejoiced at their blazing victory. In preparation for the next challenge, the play transitioned to a strong performance by the Water cabin. Members of junior modern turned and leapt to a rendition of “Dusk Till Dawn,” with strong coordination and balance as Agni and Ivy sang along. In the second challenge, the Water cabin and Earth cabin competed against each other in a boat-racing contest, which ended with the victory of the Water cabin. Earth members were outraged by this outcome, with Ivy especially infuriated by the seemingly unjust circumstances that the Earth cabin was forced to endure.

Following the first two challenges, Ivy and Skylar began to argue over the competition. Ivy declared that he had “no rizz” and Skylar referred to her as a “mudslinger,” which was an earth-shattering point for Ivy. She tied a vine around Skylar’s neck, thereby unintentionally suffocating him to death. Unsure of what to do next, she ran off, abandoning Skylar’s body at the dock of the camp. The camp counselor went onto the dock shortly afterward and found the dead body. In an effort to prevent panic among campers, he decided to resolve the issue himself and not inform the cabins of what had occurred. Afterward, the four cabins met in the cafeteria, with members of each cabin sitting at separate tables. An investigator (August Petry) approached the camp counselor and provided new information about Skylar, revealing that his body presented signs of foul play. Each cabin tried to prove their innocence, but accusations were mostly directed toward the Earth cabin, who reversed the blame onto Claire. Agni immediately defended Claire, arguing that her status as “the new girl” should not automatically make her the culprit. In the midst of this rivalry, junior hip-hop danced to a rendition of “Manike,” signifying the ongoing battle between the cabins.

The performance shifted into a private conversation between Claire and Agni in which they discussed their relationship. Claire did not want Agni to take the fall for her, but Agni refused, asserting that she would always protect her. The two sang together to a rendition of “It’s My Life,” with junior Latin dancing along. Later on, the contestants decided to momentarily forget about the murder and engage in the final archery round of the competition. Prior to the competition, Claire was met with more accusations about the murder, so Agni came to her defense and took responsibility for Skylar’s murder. This shocking scene cut to a performance by junior flow to a musical rendition of “Teeth,” which was rather abruptly integrated without much correlation to prior events. Right before the archery challenge, the cabins sang a rendition of “El Tejano” in which they discussed the neverending rivalry among the four elements.

Claire and Agni engaged in another private conversation where Claire was conflicted about their relationship due to Agni’s defensive actions. Much to the dismay of the audience, Claire then declared that she “loved” Agni, which was followed by a dramatic solo performance by Agni in which she sang a powerful rendition of “She Used To Be Mine.” Afterward, Agni was taken by the authorities to be arrested, which transitioned into another junior flow performance. As Skylar’s body was being retrieved, Claire noticed the vine tied around his neck, thus revealing Ivy to be the true murderer. In light of these tumultuous affairs, the camp counselor announced that Junior SING! was the winner of the competition. The campers then came together to sing and dance along to “We Are Young,” celebrating their undivided victory as the curtains closed.

Overall, Junior SING! went down a rocky road throughout the span of the performance. Though the play featured a variety of vocal powerhouses by incredibly talented actors, the costumes in the show were rather washed-out and did not have an eye-catching effect on the audience. Furthermore, dance performances were poorly integrated into the plot, with crews appearing onstage at spontaneous points throughout the play. Unfortunately, the ending of the play was rather underwhelming as it lacked a clear resolution to the conflict described in the plot. It is safe to say that Junior SING! would have been drastically improved by further communication between the crews, given that the show lacked cohesion and failed to have a lasting effect on viewers.