By Danny Vasquez
A tempest of hilarious jokes and heartfelt moments took the stage at East Los Angeles College’s first musical in their new Proscenium theatre with “Dream On” last Friday. ELAC’s Theatre Arts Department teamed up with the Music Department to produce an entertaining night of music and comedy.
“Dream On,” students performed the first musical on their new stage, blended music, theater and dance into a big extravaganza of a show. The only problem was that the music was too loud to hear the singers in a few of the songs.
The story took the audience on a voyage with a rich materialistic family and employee that got swept away into a tempest wind and separated on a mysterious island.
The family, separated and lost, find themselves in an island that is ruled by a wizard named Prospero, played by Joseph Arquette, who is accompanied by mischievous dancing musical Harpies.
Arquette’s performance as the strong dominant Prospero was spectacular and showed off his vocal chords and acting ability. His vocal ability was captivating with a powerful opening number entitled “Tempest” that proved his strength as a singer. He created a storm of emotions with his voice and power from his dominant dramatic character.
Arthur’s wife Lolly, played by Carilla Clements, and employee Stephan, played by Anthony Masushige, find each other and believe that Arthur and Freddie, played by Roani Nile Whent, were caught in the tempest and died. Stephan starts to seduce Lolly and she goes along with it.
Lolly and Stephan were a duo of laughter with their seductive comedy style. Clements was a comedy genius as the character Lolly. She made this materialistic Brooklyn woman loveable and funny.
The island was infested with playful Harpies and a spirit named Ariel, played by Samantha Saenz, who did all Prospero’s dirty work. Ariel brought mischief and treachery to the visitors in return for her freedom from Prospero.
Ariel was a little ball of joy and a pleasure to watch. Her character was childlike and playful, but she still kept her seriousness as a performer. Saenz kept the momentum and playful quality of her character throughout her entire performance.
A monumental song, “Get Down,” brought seriousness to her role as she rose up like a phoenix and dominated the show.
Ariel was everywhere throughout the play even when she didn’t have lines to speak she would be somewhere in the background. She was conducting the music and pretending to play a non-existent violin.
More captivating performances were those of the combined efforts of Arthur and Lolly’s son Freddie and Prospero’s daughter Miranda, played by Angelene Storey, who brought forbidden love into to mix of the play.
Whent was energetic and funny while Storey’s was more serious and worrisome. Both their performance were heartfelt to watch as they displayed a convincing amount of affection toward each other and created realistic chemistry.
Overall, the musical was hilarious and entertaining to watch.
“Dream On” runs through March 24.