24 Hour Musical Recap

How long does it take to put on a musical? In my high school theater department, six weeks was considered the shortest possible time span. Brandeis, however, has proven the impossible. On September 7th, with over 150 cast members, 25 backstage crew and 23 production staff members, Grease was performed in the Shapiro Theater. Here’s the catch: the show was put on in just 24 hours. You heard that right. The cast and crew had only 24 Hours to oranize the show before curtain. Tympanium Euphorium and the Hillel Theater Group have put on the 24 Hour Musical for the past nine years. That makes this year's Grease the 10th Anniversary of the 24 hour musical. I know what you’re thinking: Grease, a massive production, could not be performed in 24 Hours.

Here’s how it worked: during the week of September 3rd, auditions were held to predetermine the cast before the start of production. At 8 PM on Saturday September 6th, 24 hours before curtain, the entire cast met together for the unveiling of the show and cast list. Thus, production began. So what is the secret to producing a show with numerous dance numbers and songs? A dedicated and gigantic ensemble, an extremely talented cast of principle characters, and limited to no sleep. During showtime, the lively energy of the ensemble captivated the audience. Special shout out to the Pikachu and Turtle who made excellent cameos in the 50’s set production. Many of the actors had never done a show before and the 24 Hour Musical was an opportunity for them to have fun on stage in front of their friends. The principle characters, spearheaded by Gabi Nail (’18) as Sandy and Jason Theoharis (’17) as Danny made us laugh, get teary-eyed, and have an overall fun time.

A FAQ of the 24 Hour Musical is: “how do you memorize a show in 24 hours! It takes a month to do that!” In the 24 Hour Musical, principle characters used their scripts on stage for lines but all songs and dances were memorized. Some actors had trouble remembering their songs because they had learned them so quickly. However, that added to the comedic nature of the show and as well as some pretty memorable moments involving script throwing, and lots and lots of improv. One standout was Danielle Frankel (’17) whose portrayal of the teacher Ms. Lynch reminded Her Campus Brandeis of Professor Mcgonagall mixed with a grouchy lunch lady. As one of the few actors who memorized their lines, Frankel incoorporated Jewish and Brandeisan humor and brought the house down with laughter.

From the musical and dance numbers to the acting, Brandeis' Grease brought a classic movie musical to life….in just 24 hours.