Mr. Curry's Curious Clues
Charles Kieser '14 and Ella Chatfield-Stiehler '15
Over the past summer, the students of St. Ignatius’ Performing Arts program were wringing their hands over what this year’s Fall Play and Spring Musical would be. Mr. Curry, the musical’s director, declined to name it. While he simply held off on the Fall Play announcement until August 26th, he had more fun with concealing the Spring Musical!
Mr. Curry led the students on a trail, dropping clues in a PowerPoint presentation on How to Succeed’s closing night and in an announcement a week before school started. The clues were as follows: small (about 40 people), well-known, currently not on Broadway, written by Steven Sondheim, involved a girl who wears red, included a girl who finds her prince at a dance, never produced by SI before, and based on an old book of classic stories. On top of that, every cast member will have a role.
For the Spring Musical, all of the evidence seemed to point to Sondheim’s Into the Woods, a musical known for deconstructing fairy tales. The PowerPoint used music from the show, for one. The girl at the dance could’ve been Cinderella. The fairy tales counted as “classic stories.” SI had never preformed it, and so on. “I even left the score of Into the Woods out on my office desk and made sure students saw it,” Mr. Curry said. Several cast members bought the trick; Danny Cassee ’15 stated “Mr. Curry's clues made it seem like we would definitely be doing Into the Woods.” However, the clues also applied to another famous musical...
On Friday, August 26th, Mr. Curry held a meeting in Bannan Theater for all Performing Arts students, at which he promised to name both plays. Mr. Curry casually revealed that the Fall Play would be 33 Variations. This play involves a female Professor who explores Beethoven’s purpose in scripting thirty-three variations of a single theme. All this happens as Beethoven was gradually growing deaf. While kids were eager to learn more about the play which had been performed on Broadway in 2009 and nominated for a Tony Award, everyone also wanted to know about the Spring Musical. That’s when Mr. Curry threw a curveball. When the new PowerPoint reached the announcing slide, the following phrase appeared: “Once upon a time...there was a musical called...WEST SIDE STORY.”
The room erupted into wild, enthusiastic cheering. It was a risky move, but it made perfect sense. As Nick Byers ’15 re- members, “When we found out Mr. Curry was serious, we were all completely over- joyed.” Although unexpected twists are a common characteristic of plays, clearly even the actors were fooled.
One simply has to attend this SI original musical!!
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