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NU Stage shifts to an upbeat theme with “Light Up the World”

NU+Stage+cast+members+perform+%22Seize+the+Day%22+from+%22Newsies%22+during+the+theatre+group%27s+spring+2019+revue+%22Light+Up+the+World.%22
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NU Stage shifts to an upbeat theme with “Light Up the World”

NU Stage cast members perform

NU Stage cast members perform "Seize the Day" from "Newsies" during the theatre group's spring 2019 revue "Light Up the World."

Photo courtesy Claire Pettit, NU Stage

NU Stage cast members perform "Seize the Day" from "Newsies" during the theatre group's spring 2019 revue "Light Up the World."

Photo courtesy Claire Pettit, NU Stage

Photo courtesy Claire Pettit, NU Stage

NU Stage cast members perform "Seize the Day" from "Newsies" during the theatre group's spring 2019 revue "Light Up the World."

Ali Dusinberre, lifestyle editor

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Northeastern’s premier student-run musical theatre group NU Stage held the second and final showing of its spring 2019 revue “Light Up the World” Sunday night in Blackman Auditorium. The show broke the group’s trend of darkly-themed productions such as “Cabaret” and “Spring Awakening” by centering around themes of hope, happiness and perseverance through hardship.

The revue was a collection of 22 musical theatre numbers divided between two acts, ranging from fast-paced, playful anthems such as “To Life” from “Fiddler on the Roof” to more sentimental, evocative melodies such as “Come What May” from “Moulin Rouge.”

Director Yana But, a fifth-year psychology major graduating in May, said she hoped to shake things up with this spring’s theme.

“I felt like for my last semester, I needed something … that brings hope to people, something that makes everyone’s lives better,” But said. “I felt like our shows have been exploring kind of heavy themes in the past, so I felt like a lighter show would be the best idea for our club right now.”

The revue began with a solo performance by cast member Elisa Kodama of the song “Beautiful” from the musical of the same name. The opening lyrics set the tone of the evening: “You’ve got to get up every morning with a smile on your face / And show the world all the love in your heart.” A six-person ensemble joined Kodama on stage as the song picked up speed.

Fourth-year bioengineering major Sebastian Hymson, who served as NU Stage president last year and will hold the position again come fall, said he appreciated the show’s change to an upbeat theme. Hymson performed as Davey in “Seize the Day” from “Newsies” and was part of the ensemble in “Someone in the Crowd” from “La La Land.”

“I think NU Stage can do some really dark and sad shows, so this is a really nice show to juxtapose that,” Hymson said. “It’s nice to have a show that the audience can come and get hope and happiness and maybe learn different lessons through each of the songs.”

Audience member Hannah Alich, a first-year computer science major, said she felt NU Stage succeeded in accomplishing that goal.

“I thought [the revue] was really good … Going in, I didn’t know a lot about it, but I really loved the theme of it,” Alich said.

Alich was there to support her suitemate Paloma Socorro, who performed in the ensembles of “Can’t Help Falling in Love” from “All Shook Up” and “Holding On” from “Tales from the Bad Years.”

“[Socorro] was wonderful. I think she really stepped outside of her comfort zone for this. I’m very proud of her,” Alich said. “I’m excited to give her a hug.”

Given the unique nature of a revue compared to other types of theatre, cast members didn’t have the opportunity to see the show in its entirety until tech week — the week before production. Fourth-year environmental science major Elisa Figueras, who performed as Humpty Dumpty in “Freak Flag” from “Shrek,” said she enjoyed the experience of finally getting to watch her peers perform.

“This week, it was really, really cool getting to see the whole show,” Figueras said.

Though she was less involved in this production than she had been in the past, Figueras had a unique experience this time around when she danced onto the stage waving an LGBTQ+ pride flag, a moment that drew cheers from the audience.

“I was only in that song, so I was obviously being really dramatic about it and wanted to do something cool, and I’ve seen a lot of versions of that song with a pride flag,” Figueras said. “The girl who was directing that song, she was like, ‘I think it might be cool to have someone wave something at the end.’ And I was like, ‘Oh, we should do a pride flag.’ And then I was really aggressive about it, so I got to do it.”

The revue finished on a particularly upbeat note with “Don’t Stop Believin’” from “Rock of Ages.” Two cast members performing as the characters Drew and Sherrie opened the number, and the full cast joined them throughout the song, with further distinct applause when Figueras returned to the stage with her pride flag.

“It still mesmerizes me that everything fell together,” But said. “It is everything that I ever hoped for and even more, and I am immensely proud of everyone involved in the show.”

Editor’s Note: Elisa Figueras serves on The News’ editorial board as a deputy photo editor.

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