In the days after the publication of the SING! reviews, students buzzed with a flurry of opinions; grades tended to be equally divided between unadulterated approval and unabashed scorn. In light of the criticisms and witticisms received, we decided to take a look at all three in a light not tinted by computer screens and drooping eyelids.
The Soph-Frosh SING! review found a heart-wrenchingly beautiful yet tauntingly undefined aspect of the show that viewers had been unable to articulate. Its raw, unfinished style reflected that of the Soph- Frosh SING! set, with remaining track changes contributing to the deconstructed atmosphere. “I was struck by those two card-suit-emblazoned boxes onstage,” said senior Mollie Forman, who reviewed Soph-Frosh SING!. “They were so minimalist, yet so striking. I really tried to do the same for my review itself.” Forman’s persistent puns echoed those found in SING! performances, while the snarky descriptions of performers were reminiscent of the performance’s treatment of the other grades, and the glowing compliments were as few and far between as those to whom they pertained. Freshman Kyler Chase, however, disagreed with some of Forman’s less-than-complimentary comments. “We did not ‘fall flat like a deck of cards,’” he said. “We were obviously the best. Señor Uno’s sexy dancers? That’s never ever been done before!” When pushed on what parts, if any, he’d change, he admitted, “I don’t think the audience got the full impact of our set. We probably should have cut out all the unnecessary parts, like signs.” Like Soph-Frosh SING!, the review ranged from inscrutable to blindingly obvious, explaining some points that felt clear as day, and leaving other mystifying aspects, such as what happened in the entire plot, unclear. However, it stands as a good effort to convey not just the story, but the frustration, of the show.
Junior SING!’s review valiantly tried to capture the essence of the performances, and for the most part, succeeded. However, a few misattributed lines rendered the review eerily reminiscent of the behind-thescenes drama of Junior SING!’s Facebook group. Other aspects of the review mirrored the show itself, from awkward transitions to occasionally abrupt endings. Some juniors felt that the review was too critical and too harsh. “Who gave [seniors Shah Alam and Tong Niu] the right to call out my crew by name?” junior and swing crew director David Kheyman said. “Please. You call someone a critic and suddenly they think they have the right to start critiquing you. This is SING!. We’re not looking for Simon Cowell here.” Still more thought that the review was inauthentic in its acclaim. “From what I’ve heard, there was a huge dichotomy between what was intended and what was printed,” senior Mostafa Elmadboly said. “Apparently the administration stepped in once they saw the original draft. But I didn’t read the article – or see SING!, for that matter – so honestly, what do I know?” However, others were more than pleased by the praise heaped on Junior SING!. “They loved our costumes,” said junior Teresa Huang, co-director of costume crew. “They said they were ‘functional.’ What more could you ask for in a good review?”
If asked about Senior SING!, most students would agree on its strengths. “They were funny. I mean, I’m not entirely sure what was going on, but I liked watching it,” sophomore Aron Helfet said. The show’s review was just as amusing, verbally ping-pong-ing between straight-up coverage and blinkand- you’ll-miss-’em one-liners. However, some seniors felt that the review was too lighthearted. “I tried to play it straight for once,” senior Ravtej Kohli said. “But no. Of course all my serious acting got glossed over by Gandalf’s bad puns.” Kohli also felt “disappointed” that no one understood his lyrics. “I slipped in so many jokes that we’d had to cut, and no one caught them.” What seniors did approve of, though, were the numerous jokes that hadn’t escaped notice. “I’m just happy they got the Bob Marley thing,” senior Andreas Petrossiants said in between bites of a brownie. In between the wordplay, the review slipped in criticisms, but most readers seemed to not even catch them with all of the praise. A few crews were notably underwhelmed with their coverage. Although the culprits escaped capture, junior Leopold Spohngellert, one of the writers, was found bludgeoned and unconscious in the backstage tech room. He was later hospitalized for internal bleeding caused by cardboard shoved down his throat. Junior Adam Schorin, the other writer, was attacked from behind and strangled with a pair of glowsticks while climbing the Hudson Staircase a few days later. A passing couple stumbled upon him while “studying for our Health tests,” juniors Miriam Bial and John O’Donnell said.