BWW Review: RANKED, A NEW MUSICAL, Premieres at the Theatre At Granite Bay
Senior Natalie Collins is a standout as Lily, a sweet girl who is unsure of her place in the ranks. She is struggling to keep herself above the average and is wondering if all of the pressure is worth it. Her driven big sister, Alexis, is played by Chloe Boyan, who portrays just the right mixture of determination and insecurity. Her boyfriend, Ryan, is a sweet and sensitive Joe Reinero; on the flip side his sister, Sydney (an appropriately icy Emma Harlow), is queen of the mean girls and won't let anything come between her and her #1 rank. Avi Gattani provides a voice of reason (and some fun guitar playing) as Jordan, Sydney's former bff. Her brother, John (an endearing Jack Dugoni), steals Lily's heart and gives her the confidence that she needs to face what is coming. A strong supporting cast comprised of Taylor Harris, Trace Landrum, and Aleah Treiterer, as well as an enthusiastic ensemble, round out this young, talented group.
Ranked really showcases the dilemmas that modern teens are dealing with and the load that they have to take on in ensuring that they're prepared to succeed in a world after high school. Holmes and Taylor-Gomes dove into the trenches to get students' input and it comes through in their work. Holmes' script invites you into the world of today's high school student and made me so glad that I graduated an unspecified many number of years ago. He captured the angst and drive and occasional hopelessness that these kids must be feeling on a daily basis. As always, Taylor-Gomes' music is a bright beacon that shines. Relevant lyrics, stirring music, upbeat percussion, and soaring harmonies mark this score. Personal favorites that I'm still singing are, "Drowning," "Eye on the Prize," and "Someone Always Bleeds." The love of arts is a gift these two men are bestowing upon these lucky students in the effort that they've put forth to bring this original work to Granite Bay High School. It could well be a new requirement-all high school theatre groups shall have Ranked in their catalog, like a modern-day Grease.
You can support these students and Theatre at Granite Bay through April 13th. Shows run this Thursday, Friday, and Saturday at 7 p.m. at Granite Bay High School, 1 Grizzly Way in Granite Bay. Tickets may be purchased online at ranked.brownpapertickets.com.
Photo credit: Yarcenia Garcia