The Hilltop Players open the song book

(Hilltop Players perform songs from literature-inspired musicals. Photo by Cass Doherty)

The lights blinked twice to signify the start of the show. The Ecumenical Center went entirely dark. The lights shined on the stage and revealed three women.

Event coordinators, senior Cynthia Nelson, sophomore Rachel Burgess and junior Emma Quinn introduced “The Hilltop Songbook,” a performance of songs from musicals inspired by books.

“As the music coordinator, it was a great experience to take literature and apply it to the performing arts,” said Nelson.

The performance occurred on Nov. 4 and 5.

Each musical was introduced by one of the event coordinators and was followed by a selection of songs that give “a look into the story of that show as the musical progresses,” according to the event’s program.

The night began with a performance by the nine-piece cast from the musical “Carrie,” which Quinn called “the most expensive flop on Broadway” due to the inability to pour blood on Carrie without ruining the sound quality.

“In” featured the group’s strong vocal collective which gave a strong, loud lead. The following song was the opposite, “Carrie,” performed by Marielle Sciore, showcased the power of one single voice and minimal choreography.

The musical “Jekyll and Hyde” featured two duets. One with Adam Tackes and Mariah Prosansky, who performed the romantic duet, “Take Me as I am.” The other featured the somber song, “In His Eyes” which is about lost love. It featured vocalists Monique Plante and Megan Chestna.

The first act ended with two songs from “Cats” – “Grizabella, the Glamour Cat” and “Memory.” The latter highlighted two powerful vocalists, Plante and Sciore, and received loud applause.

“Marielle gives me chills,” said junior Lily Packer.

After a short intermission, the group began act two with songs from “Little Women” which included a dance-filled “Five for All Forever” and a somber duet of “Some Things Are Meant to Be.” 

“I love the choreography. It is the best yet,” said FSU alumnus and past Hilltop Player Kyle Collins.

After a soft lullaby from “The Secret Garden” performed by Prosansky and Chestna, the show ended with a series of songs from the award-winning “Wicked.”

Tackes sang “Wonderful” along with Leah Colley. The number featured a jig by Tackes that had some audience members bouncing along.

“I never did this before. I wanted to branch out in college,” said Colley.

The show ended with “One Short Day” which featured the full cast, synchronized choreography and received a standing ovation.

“The cast was wonderful,” said junior Devinne Sharp.

“I love the choreography. It is the best yet,” said FSU alumnus and past Hilltop Player Kyle Collins. “Everyone is so into what they are doing. It makes a great ensemble.”

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