To Cycle Through Everyday Life

Edges: A Song Cycle was performed this past weekend in Brehmer Theater as se­nior Kathleen Armenti’s senior directing project. Last year at one of the Colgate cabaret performances, Armenti says she “heard ‘Coasting,’ the final number in the song cycle, and fell in love.” Her con­nection with this song is what made her choose the song cycle as her senior proj­ect. With a small cast including mem­bers from all class years, Edges was both entertaining and humorous, but also an emotional roller coaster that touched on death and heartbreak. Edges is not your typical musical. The songs do not func­tion to tell a story, but act more like a cabaret performance. To make it more than just a cabaret concert, Armenti gave her characters stories that were acted out through their songs and their body lan­guage. This made Colgate’s production of Edges completely unique, different from any other performance of the show.

The show began with the funny, upbeat song, “Become,” which introduced the char­acters Chris (junior Travis Larrison), Halley (first-year Becca Murphy), Jack (junior Kevin Blank) and Caitlyn (senior Veronica Genco) through short character sketches about their penchant for fashion magazines or their in­ability to be responsible. This first song set the tone for the show with lyrics that spanned from funny to serious. “Become” is some­thing of a chorus throughout the whole mu­sical, popping up in many of the songs. Its appearance in both the first and final songs of the show help to create the “cycle” of Edges.

The characters are all twenty-somethings dealing with heartbreak, relationships, difficulties in realizing their dreams, the death of a mother and feelings of inadequacy. Set in the present day, Edges is very relatable: Chris works in a Star­bucks coffee shop and sings about his dreams; Caitlyn sings about her gay boyfriend, Jonathan (Mitch Tucci ’14). Though the musical began and ended with humorous and hopeful songs, the mid­dle of the show proved to be more heartbreaking. Robert (Timothy McEvoy ’13) gets off of the couch he has been playing video games on to sing a heart-wrenching song about the loss of his mother. All of the characters – Robert, Jack, Halley, Chris, Jonathan, Caitlyn and Rachel (Liz Bar­nett ’12) – join together in “Dispensable,” a song about heartache and feeling as if they don’t matter. Despite these sad songs, the musical ends on a hopeful note. The three girls – Rachel, Caitlyn and Halley – sing about be­ing ready for love and being open to starting new relation­ships. The whole cast then joins together for the final number, “Coasting,” a song about daily interaction that ends with the affirmation that they are ready to become who they are.

Edges: A Song Cycle was a real glimpse into life in present day. Though the musical dealt with age-old issues, the songs are humorous and the characters believable. Armenti’s new take on Edges: A Song Cycle was without a dull moment and she managed to weave the songs and characters together to seamlessly create her vision of the song cycle.