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Review: Royal Production Crown Awards

May 14, 2018

The Crown Awards, a banquet celebrating all of the achievements of Royal Productions, the school’s theater program, from the past year, was held at Eisenhower community center last Sunday. There was a lot to celebrate after a very successful musical, one-acts, and spring play, but the one thing on everyone’s mind was the identity of next year’s musical.

The show was announced by the theater director, Natalie Foster, by way of an elaborate scavenger hunt.

“It was really interesting because there were so many steps and I didn’t know what to expect,” said Mason Arneson, sophomore. “We had to find something under our table, and that led us to an adult who held an envelope with the name of a senior. After we did something with them we all got one letter and had to rearrange them into the name of the show.”

Letters were slowly gathered and taped to a wall, with students and parents alike shouting out guesses as to what was being spelled until a complete phrase appeared: Damn Yankees.

“It is a sweet musical about a man who ‘sells’ his soul to the Devil in order for his beloved team to get into the World Series. It is also the one and only musical about America’s pastime-baseball.” Foster said.

Theater program legend, Ben Herstig, senior, has been in ten shows at Hopkins starting in his freshman year, and is excited for this to be the first show he comes back to see as an alumni.

“It’s a really good show to follow our last one, Joseph. People saw good stuff in that show so they’ll be expecting to see something good in the next one too, and I have faith that Royal Productions can deliver that,” Herstig said.

Damn Yankees originally ran on Broadway in 1955 and won seven Tony Awards, including Best Musical in 1965.

“This musical gives our students many opportunities for featured roles, it has wonderful choreography opportunities, the songs are fun and the story is appropriate for all,” Foster said. “It gives our technicians the challenge of creating several different sets including a baseball park, locker room and tropical nightclub. Our costumers will be putting together a costume plot of 1950’s streetwear as well as creating baseball uniforms.”

Not every student is as excited, with some thinking that doing an older musical isn’t the best choice.

“I think that it’s a little dated, which can either be charming or bad depending on how it’s done, and it’s not a great show for girls, as there are only three lead female roles but a whole baseball team of guys, so the actual time that each gender will spend on stage will be unequal. But there are ways to add female cast members into big musical numbers, I think it’ll be fun, and it has some iconic Broadway music in it,” said one theater member.

“I choose the shows for their education value, their participation opportunities and the challenges they may present to our technicians. I am also conscience of the audience and try to find something for everyone,” Foster said.

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