Attitude and confident voices in 'Edges'
Fearless young voices go on a quest for answers to life’s most crucial question of “Who I am?” in Friends Central’s production of Edges!
This musical is a song cycle following various young adults as they discover themselves and grow into adults. Edges was penned by Benji Pasek, a Friends Central ‘03 alum, and his writing partner Justin Paul in their sophomore year at University of Michigan. The duo also wrote last year’s Off-Broadway Dogfight, last year’s Tony nominated A Christmas Story, and Smash’s fictional musical Hitlist.
Standouts among the deft student ensemble included Matthew Strahan, who brought powerful vocals to “Become” and “I Once Knew” along with Anna Phillips, whose memorable facial expressions and amazing belting was brought to “Ready to Be Loved” and “Perfect.” Other talented students included Grant McCord’s comedic timing which shined in “Along the Way” and Camille Seidel, whose versatile acting skills were exhibited in “Man of My Dreams” and “Dispensable.” Margaret Nierenberg showcased her slick dancing skills in “Be My Friend” while Chiara Neilson confidently displayed her adept comic skills in “In Short.”
Other bright moments included the trio of “I’ve Gotta Run” (Samara Bradley, Rose Gendelman, and Evie Johnson). Last but not least, Hannah Vickery and Lior Wolf brought a cute chemistry to “I Hmmm You.”
The ensemble had a focused enthusiastic energy, yet lacked cohesive reactions in the beginning of the show. In “Be My Friend,” the cast hilariously captured the modern day attitude towards Facebook. Both the cast and Friends Central’s band (Grant McCord, Kellan Barr, Olivia Backal-Balik, Rebecca Buxbaum, and Camille Seidel) were harmoniously intertwined throughout the whole show.
Friends Central’s stage crew (Chris Levy and Sahva Gebrehiwet) made quick transitions throughout the show, while Ryder Nance and Eric Williams’ lighting design helped set the mood for each song along with Teddy Mischel’s graphic images. Some cast members were difficult to hear, although the majority did an excellent job of projecting their voices. The props in “Be My Friend” added to the attitude of the song.
Friends Central’s production of Edges was a heartwarming, yet hilarious experience that expressed the daily plights of young adults!