Review: EMMA! A POP MUSICAL at Gettysburg Community Theatre

This production runs through April 28th.

By: Apr. 20, 2024
Review: EMMA! A POP MUSICAL at Gettysburg Community Theatre
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Featuring well-known music from legendary female singers, Emma! A Pop Musical modernizes Jane Austen’s classic tale. Eric Price’s 2015 adaptation explores love, friendship, class, and the ability of passionate individuals to create change. This delightful musical takes the stage at Gettysburg Community Theatre under the direction of Chad-Alan Carr, assistant director and choreographer Debbie Williams, and vocal music director Carrie Conklin through April 28th.

The costumes (by Randi Walker), combined with the lighting and projections (by Chase Bowman) set the scene perfectly, transporting the audience to Highbury Prep to witness the angst, drama, heartache and heartbreak of the high school students and their teachers. The cast includes ensemble members Raghad Alahmed, Hannah Hoptak, Thea Mathers, Marlee Metcalf, Brynlee Nieberding, Helena Patrono, Olivia Pellegrini, Imogen Petters, Chloe Sainer, Nyelle Steinour, Avery Walker, Dexter Walker, and Emma Luque Valmisa. These young actors perform with an enthusiasm and dedication that will have audiences laughing, clapping, and singing along. Marleigh Stahl, Audrey Trax, and Rebecca Williams provide beautiful harmonies as the Welcoming Committee Singers Trio.

Randi Walker and Eric Walker are adorable as Miss Taylor and Mr. Weston, the teachers who spark Emma’s match-making obsession. Taylor Stahl has the perfect posture and poise for Miss Bates, Principal of the school. Aurora Wood’s performance as Ashley is spot-on, with a quirky energy that makes her performance fun to watch. Bentley Yeary’s performance as the unassuming, good-natured Martin is endearing, and Reese Shamer’s portrayal of the smitten Harriet Smith helps audiences remember how young love feels. Malachi Bennett plays Philip Eaton, who is running for Student Council President, with just the right amount of self-importance and political savvy. Mackenzie Mitchell and Caden Miller have wonderful stage presence as vending machine royalty Jane Fairfax and rockstar Frankie Churchill. Kiefer David’s portrayal of the brainy Jeff Knightley is sweet, and his interactions with Kiersten Englebert’s Emma are touching. Kiersten Englebert takes on the title role of Emma Woodhouse. Her stage presence, interactions with the other characters, and flawless voice bring Emma to life and draw the audience into the story.

Any time young actors take the stage with passion and joy, the audience cannot help but feel it, too. Get your tickets for Emma! A Pop Musical at Gettysburg Community Theatre.

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