Sometimes less truly is more. Edges,Quantum Entertainment’s new musicalshowing at the Hecht ResidentialCollege’s Studio Theater, has only fouractors and two musicians but it is overflowingwith entertainment, talent, andhumor. Its small, intimate atmospheregives the audience a feeling of personal connection and allows the viewer to takeeven more away from this hip, innovativeplay.
Edges is certainly a show for youngpeople. Very contemporary, and certainlynot traditional, its jazzy beats neverbore, and the lyrics touch and tickle thelistener. Each song is about finding outwho you are and then being comfortablewith that person. The theme issomething that every young adult canrelate to, as everyone has been in one ofthe situations Edges touches upon, fromshallow, surface-level relationships withone’s peers, to falling in love for the firsttime, to falling in love and then findingout that the perfect person for you actuallybats for the other team, if you knowwhat I mean. Each song was cute andsweet and, in fact, thought provoking,causing the audience to question his/herown relationships and perceptions ofwho he/she is.
This show is also out of the ordinarybecause it has no story line. Rather, it iscomposed of a variety of songs of differentstyles and musical genres which eachbring different elements to the table.
There are no characters in Edges either,just four actors (Terry Helin, ChristianSchwebler, Colleen Prior, KimberlyOgonosky), all very talented, who playdifferent roles as needed to express theinsecurities and anxieties of growing upin today’s society.
The two actresses (Prior andOgonosky) are exceptionally talented.
Both have wonderful stage presenceand outstanding vocal range. In “LyingThere,” a song about depression and theinability to love a person you so believeyou should be in love with, Prior showsoff her rich, strong voice. And later in”Man of My Dreams,” Prior shows offher comedic talent as she satirizes everywoman’s desire to find a straight guywith a bit of a queer eye. Ogonoskydisplays great emotion every time shesteps on stage. In “I’ve Gotta Run,” inwhich she portrays a “runaway bride”-type character, she is extremely believableand never seems overdone. Laterin the poignant, gentle number, “Wylie.”she makes hitting the high notes lookeffortless.
The male stars of the play (Helinand Schwebler) also have plenty of talent,but at times they come across asstrained, awkward, and over-acting.
Helin is definitely comfortable with theaudience and even makes eye-contact,which is a big plus in making it feel personal,but his motions are at times toogrand and too stiff, especially for such asmall theater. Helin also has quite a bitof vocal potential but he doesn’t quitereach that potential and his voice canwind up sounding stressed. Schwebler isat his best in comedic pieces like “Be MyFriend,” about trying to have the mostfriends on The Facebook even thoughone might not even know or care aboutthe people, but lacks realistic emotion inthe numbers with more moving lyricslike “One Reason.”Surprising and delightful, Edges isa musical for modern-day Americanyouth. The minimalist nature is certainlyadvantageous for allowing theaudience to get the most out of theexperience, which is in essence, aboutthe subject matter. Edges is playful andtrendy but it also touches on deeper subjects,and addresses them appropriately.
This show reveals truths about youngadulthood and college life, especiallyabout not knowing yourself or othersand having to fake it for a while-livingon the “edge” of your social life until youcan find the deeper heart of the matter.
Yes, one enters Edges expecting less andleaves with so much more.
Danielle McNally can be contacted firstname.lastname@example.org.