The Cardinal Players Wrap Up Production of Funny Girl


Funny Girl ran in March at Crofton High School.

Emeline Seery, Entertainment Editor

Crofton High opened its fourth show on February 24th, with its early spring musical Funny Girl. Auditions were held in early December, and rehearsals were in full swing by the next week. Cast and crew worked tirelessly for months, running scenes and problem-solving before the show opened last Friday night to rapturous applause, projecting audience members back to early 20th-century New York City to follow the story of Fanny Brice.

Cast and crew faced challenges and new and exciting experiences while putting together Crofton High’s second musical. Without a doubt, everyone involved in the production agreed that costumes and time were some of the biggest challenges.

As Technical Director Ms. Caitlyn Connolly put it, “… we have a cast of over 30 people, and each person has multiple costumes.” She later added that “A lot of them are time period specific so that has definitely been very intimidating, and a big challenge.” However, Connolly stated that she has been so proud of how the tech kids have overcome these challenges and that “they really know what they’re doing, especially the leaders of tech.”

The leader of the lights team, Myles Thorpe, agreed, saying that “My favorite part is definitely teaching new people.” Leader of the sound team, Henry Walsh added that he “really likes expanding what we did last year and figuring out what new things we can do.”

While the crew had been dealing with tricky costumes, actors faced their own challenges on stage. Many actors, such as Caroline O’Neil, who plays Mrs. Brice shared that they “were a little worried on time. Time was [their] biggest enemy because [they] were starting a month earlier than last year.”

Ensemble member Torah Love agreed, hoping that in the future they will “get a better feel of the schedule of shows.” Despite these worries, however, the cast of Funny Girl agreed that the show has been a blast. Actor JJ Reida said that his favorite part “has to be spending some great quality time with some great friends of [his]”. Chase Nester, playing the ever-gambling Nick Arnstein shared this sentiment, stating that “[his] friends in the cast are all a blast.” Leading lady Anna Porter, playing Fanny Brice herself, stated that “… Fanny is very big and out there and funny. She’s very sure of herself, and that has probably been my favorite part, getting into that character because it’s just different from anything I’ve done before.” Nester agreed, saying “My favorite part has been really getting to dive into this character.”

So what comes next for the Cardinal Players? Director Ms. Becca Bittman expressed what she was looking forward to most.

“Continuing to just grow and find opportunities to get more kids on stage. We’d really like to put up, for lack of a better word, a showcase, a variety show, that I think we could get upwards of 100 or 150 people involved in,” Ms. Bittman said.

This showcase would come sometime in the late spring. Additionally, The Cardinal Players said they are already looking forward to next year’s show. Kayla Carr, the leader of the set team, expressed her excitement for next year’s fall play, and the opportunity to get rising freshmen involved in the tech crew.

Additionally, O’Neil had some thoughts about what she’d like to see in The Cardinal Player’s 2023-24 season. “Hopefully a big colorful show, I think that’d be fun,” she said.

Natalie Fuentes, the costumes lead, seconded this sentiment, and Porter added that she’s excited to be involved in next year’s shows, through performing or helping out in some other way. Even the graduating seniors are excited. Nester is “really excited to see the directions they take it,” and said he thinks that “the productions are going to be a huge team effort and something to behold.”

Nester and senior Stage Manager Elliot Fields, said they are both excited to come back and see next year’s performances. Fields, who will be attending West Chester University in the fall, added “I’m so sad to be leaving. But I’m honestly looking forward to coming back and seeing some of the [set] pieces that I helped work on be used for other things, and they’ll be used for so many years in the future. And I think that’s special.”

Funny Girl tells the story of actress Fanny Brice, who had been a crowd favorite on the stage and radio in the 1910s through her death in 1951. Fanny starts out with a small role on an off-Broadway stage, but is noticed for her talents by Florenz Ziegfeld, and is blasted to Broadway stardom. The musical covers her career and rocky personal relationships with vibrant, exciting songs and costumes, and witty quips that had the audience in tears.