On Thursday, March 14th, the cast of this year’s winter musical had its opening night for the first of four consecutive performances. The winter musical is an annual spectacular that has been put on by Nantucket High School (NHS) for over 25 years, and 2019 was no exception. This year, 28 students put on the production “A Wonderful Town.” The story takes place in 1935, following two sisters who try to navigate their move to the Big Apple. Between Irish ballads and the upbeat Brazilian conga, the show displayed a wide variety of sounds and dance moves. As senior Nicole LeBlanc described it, the story “at its heart is really a story about going out into the world and taking risks. That’s something the seniors are faced with now and I think a lot of us could relate to Ruth and Eileen in that way; I know I certainly did.”
NHS drama and chorus teacher Erin MacIver has been directing the musical for eight years now. When asked about her experiences with this year’s cast and overall performances, she said, “this was a fabulous cast and I had an incredible time working with them.”
The cast members of the production range from freshmen to seniors, each having a varied past in theater experiences. This year, over a third of the cast members were new to the stage.
Devon Holdgate, a current junior at NHS, joined the cast of “Wonderful Town” for his first show. While the prospect of joining a cast with experienced performers may seem daunting, Holdgate said that, “Joining the musical is something so far outside my comfort zone that I would never have joined if it weren’t for the pressure of my close friends; I cannot thank them enough for pushing me to it. The whole experience was just absolutely amazing; The people are some of the kindest, funniest, and most accepting and caring that I will ever know, and that does not even begin to describe how fun the whole experience was. As scary or weird or lame the whole thing seemed to me before, I know that in several decades when I’m reminiscing on the few memories I have made through high school, the whole production and all the friends that I have made will certainly bring a smile to my future self.”
While a significant number of cast members are new to the stage, there were a number of cast veterans as well. On the other end of the experience spectrum, Nicole LeBlanc, a senior at NHS, has been participating in the musical all four years of high school. As her last show on the NHS stage, LeBlanc took on the character Ruth, one of the lead roles in the show. On her experience, LeBlanc stated that “The musical has been an incredibly important part of my high school career; I’ve always said that I measure my time in bows. Having taken my last bow on the NHS stage feels insane. I’m incredibly grateful to everyone who played a part in putting up the show. It takes a village. From the crew to the cast, everyone works so hard.”
For those of the cast who will be here next year, they are already excited to see what the new season has in store.
By Jenna Genthner