Brought to You LIVE

A Musical Revue of the Works of Stephen Sondheim performed by the EBHS Drama Club


Sabrina Portnoy, Bear Hub Staff

Last week I had the pleasure of attending the opening night of the EBHS Drama Club’s A Musical Revue of the Works of Stephen Sondheim. Thanks to Justine Torres, one of the stage managers, I was able to sit front row at the Drama Club’s first outdoor, live performance, and let me just say it did not disappoint.

Family and friends of the actors and stage crew set up socially distanced lawn chairs outside of Playhouse 22 and waited in suspense as the actors filed on to the stage.

The audience sits in suspense, 6 feet apart, snacks in hand, waiting for an unprecedented performance. You could practically smell the excitement in the air.

Lights, camera, action! And just like that, the Drama Club’s first outdoor performance commenced. I may be a bit biased because of my own love for the arts, however, the show was spectacular and better than I could have ever imagined. What I think made this performance all the more impressive was that it was the sophomore’s first high school level performance!

Eilam Ben-Zvi and Victoria Sliwinski hold hands and beautifully belt one of my favorite songs in the revue. Their voices perfectly harmonize in this duet!
From left to right, Marco DeBellis, 11, Tyler Zaremba, 10, Sophia Rullo, 10, Keira Marques, 11, Eilam Ben-Zvi, 11, and Lillian Love, 11, sing and dance synchronously as a singular unit.

The storyline intrigued me and the singing and dancing showcased the raw talent present in the EBHS arts department. Everything truly came together perfectly; not a single beat was missed!

After the show, I was able to talk to a few members of the cast and crew to get their feelings about opening night:


LILLIAN LOVE: It felt absolutely amazing being on stage again after not being able to perform in front of a live audience in a year! I was so beyond happy to be doing what I love with the amazing people in the cast.

JUSTINE TORRES: It felt so different as the opening night was both my first for EBHS Drama Club and first for an outdoor theater compared to our auditorium. Since there are no “wings” to hide in, we (stage crew and management) do have to stand still for the show’s entirety – but it was much less hectic than expected.

KRISTA LUONGO: On opening night I was nervous at first because I hadn’t done a show in so long, but after getting on stage and performing our first song all my nerves went away.


LL: Honestly, I think the biggest difference was the fact that this show took place at the community art center and not at the high school this year. And making sure that safety was a top priority for the cast and the audience members.

JT: Well for this year, it’s a musical revue, meaning it’s a setlist of songs under a certain theme or topic. For this revue, it was all songs by Stephen Sondheim. Since there were no long plots or major acting scenes outside of the singing numbers, the rehearsal process was easier due to the lack of necessary actions. For stage managing, it was very easy to adapt since in-person rehearsals allowed us to do what we normally do, such as writing down dance formations, writing out names for singing sections of songs, etc. It was just much more separated for the sake of social distancing.

KL: This show was a lot different from past years because instead of doing a musical that follows a storyline we are doing a review of songs from a composer and each song we sing is from a different show. This is also different from past years because we are performing outside in a new location and in past years all of our shows are performed at the high school. I think as a whole club everyone adapted to the changes that had to be made and we all worked with each other to make everything go as smoothly as it could.


LL: The biggest lesson that I learned is that the drama club is absolutely resilient and we learn how to overcome so many obstacles! If there is a will, there’s a way and in the drama club family we all step up to the challenges.

JT: You need to be okay with things not always going your way. You need to be okay with that and go along rather than fight it. It will never stick to the plan so you need to be ready to change plans and adapt, but at the same time, stand firm on what you do and don’t approve of.

KL: The biggest lesson I have learned from this experience is if you love something it doesn’t matter how hard it is to do it as long as it brings you joy. I say this because it definitely was not easy for JD, Mr. Good, Kelliann, and everyone else involved in the drama club to pick a show, book a space, keep up with COVID guidelines and restrictions, and come up with rules for everyone to follow to keep us safe during the rehearsals. But no matter how hard it got, they worked with all of the cast and crew to make this show the best that it could be and they were determined to give us the opportunity to perform once again.

Overall it is clear how much blood, sweat, and tears the cast, crew, and directors put into this show and it truly paid off. From the lights, set, and exceptional talent featured on the outdoor stage, the wait, although long, was definitely worth it.

I am honored to have had the opportunity to watch the Drama Club’s first live performance in over a year and cannot wait for the next one (hopefully with a full house in the audience with me)!!