“Americans All,” directed by adjunct professor Vanda Eggington, opened Friday, September 16th in the Lyceum Theater.
It is an inspirational musical play emphasizing the importance of a positive outlook, staying in school, and expanding your horizons through music, dialogue, and poetry.
The stereotypes presented in the classroom resemble the characters of the 1980’s classic movie, “Breakfast Club.”
The random burst of song throughout the play are similar to that of the popular television show, “Glee.”
For every scene in which the audience is supposed to gain insight to the character’s social dilemma or family struggle, a member of the cast bursts into cheesy song intended to inspire and awe.
The cast had a great chemistry and incredible energy. Each actor fulfilled the characteristics of his or her stereotype to a tee. The student government president, nerd, cheerleader, jock, gothic, etc.
Though the cast performs each act and song well, and the songs are catchy, they become cornier as the show progresses.
Any cliché line your teacher in junior high ever said regarding staying in school or being yourself is reinforced repeatedly in “Americans All.”
Whether it was a line the teacher (senior Nick Lazaris) said to his class full of students in detention, or a line in one of the predictable songs, the pep talk was excessive and redundant.
Though the inspirational message of “Americans All” is somewhat cliché, it is a fun musical experience that will leave a lasting impression.
Both the cast and the audience will leave the auditorium singing its memorable songs—whether they want to or not.
I know I had them stuck in my head for hours after they play as I was trying to fall asleep that night.
One song in particular, sang by senior Mary Lee Tandy-McGlasson and sophomore Preston Butler III, “You Gotta have Style” was catchy. “You gotta have style/ from your head to your feet/ in really just every way/ got the feel, got the beat.”
Written by retired Orange County Superior Court Judge Jim Gray, the musical presents a positive message not only for students, but for professors and parents as well.
“Americans All” reminds us of the good we can do with a positive mindset by reinforcing positivity and kindness every five seconds through song or an inspirational one-liner throughout the musical.
“Americans All” requires only a minimal set and the size of the cast seems entirely flexible—the actors even use their own names. There is no set changes, the students remain in the clasroom set the entire time.
As long as there is a classroom setting, several stereotyped students and they somehow want to defy their stereotypes by the end, the play is complete.