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'High School Never Ends': The Musical Showcase at the Waterloo East Theatre

High School Never Ends showcased last weekend at the Waterloo East Theatre. This musical comedy showcases the stories found in the songs of pop-punk band, Bowling For Soup, and brings them together in an hour-long show, featuring the hit songs: 1985, Girl All the Bad Guys Want, and High School Never Ends, among many others.

Ariel Butwyna (left) and Rebekah Bryant (right). Photography by Alessio Marchese.

The musical reflects on how the dynamics of high school follow us into adult life. The characters struggle with self-confidence, dreams, love, and trying to find their place in the world, years after leaving high school behind. The story revolves around the possibility of attending the Class of ’89 High School reunion and meeting people they have not seen for nineteen years. This stirs old dreams, old friendships, and old flames. By transporting the audience back to their teenage years—be it through flashbacks or through the ‘angsty’ nature of pop-punk music—the musical becomes intensely relatable, making the audience reflect on how far they have come since high school.

In a Q&A after the performance, the producer and director, Riccardo Carollo, revealed that the cast had merely ten days to rehearse for the showcase, thus proving to be passionate and versatile. Rebekah Bryant, who played Emily, and Guido García Lueches, who played both Erik and Dave, particularly stood out to me. With only an hour in their hands, the creative team managed to include as many of the band’s songs as possible, each fit with appropriate choreography and an ingenious use of the stage. The direction was incredibly resourceful, showing signs that the musical could become a major production.

For the showcase, the story was kept simple and condensed. Some of the scenes appear abruptly, but it can be foretold that the flashbacks and the life-changing moments in the story will come together smoothly with the extra forty-five minutes the show expects to add to the production. This team of creatives invested their time, money, and talents in this showcase, which exhibits signs of possibly becoming the next feel-good show in the musical industry, as it reminds the audience that their life is in their hands and it is never too late.

Find out where to catch the show at @highschoolneverendsthemusical on Instagram.

Edited by Evangeline Stanford, Digital Editor

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