“Ruthless,” a musical that follows the journal of a determined eight-year-old girl on her quest to get the lead in her school play, hit the Val A. Browning Center Nov. 9.
Andrew Barratt Lewis, the director of “Ruthless,” thinks the musical is refreshingly humorous.
“’Ruthless’ is a great parody of the old musicals from the 40’s, 60’s and 70’s,” Lewis said. “The great lengths that Tina goes to in order to get the lead makes it highly comedic.”
A variety of colorful characters help “Ruthless” hit the mark. The lead is 8-year-old Tina Denmark. Drag queen Sylvia, however, is one of the cast’s favorite characters.
“If I didn’t get cast as Tina, I would have loved to play Sylvia,” said Landry Thomas, who plays Tina Denmark. “I love Sylvia because she is such a flamboyant and over- the-top character.”
“Ruthless” is filled with flashy characters. Judy Denmark is Tina’s mother, and in the first act, she appears to be a typical middle-aged woman and perfect housewife. However, according to Katelynn Ostler, who plays Judy, there is more to the character than meets the eye.
“In act two, she goes through a change and goes after her dream of being a Broadway star,” Ostler said. “She becomes boisterous, confident and outrageous.”
Making “Ruthless” took the effort of an entire cast and crew who all learned something from the play. Riley French, a choreographer, found an opportunity in the show to hone her craft.
“I learned how to better choreograph tap,” French said. “It’s a totally different experience choreographing musicals. I used to see dancing in musicals as gratuitous, but now I get it and know how to make it seem not gratuitous.”
Thomas drew experience from her character to give the best possible performance.
“I’ve really learned that there’s more to life than your dream,” Thomas said. “It’s about the journey as well. I’ve learned that I am enough, and to look forward to my dream, but to have fun on the journey too.”
Lewis believes there’s something in the musical for everyone. The show is entertaining and can be used to take your mind off the monotony of everyday life.
“It’s a really good laugh and a great way to have an escape, even if it’s just for a little while,” Lewis said.
The musical runs in the Browning Center at 7:30 p.m. on Nov. 9 to Nov. 10 and Nov. 14 to 17. Tickets are $13 for adults and $8.25 for students.