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Riding the Cyclone

Maggie Coors ’25

Feb 16, 2024

Last weekend, Mercersburg Academy’s Stony Batter Players performed the musical Ride The Cyclone. The show's lead actors included Keri-Ann Denis ’25, William Tutt ’25, Crystal Chiu ’25, Finn McNeil ’26, Janie Miller ’26, Fynn Poulsen ’26, and Ary Small ’27, along with a talented cast of ensemble members. 

The show depicts a high school choir group that takes a field trip to an amusement park and dies riding a roller coaster called the Cyclone. The start of the show takes place after they have already died, and a fortune teller decides to hold a competition in which the winner is revived. Each character performs a hilarious song to explain why they should be the one to get a second chance at life.

 During the show, one of the main characters who lost her head during an previous roller coaster accident remains a mystery to the cast. This character, Jane Doe, played by Denis, displays an intrigue that adds a level of mystery to the plot. 

The show was extremely funny and entertaining. There was well-timed comedic dialogue and absurd musical numbers that kept the audience engaged throughout. One of the most interesting parts of the show is that all of the characters had unique characteristics and distinctive musical styles. Each character was perfectly cast. The actors did an incredible job of embodying their individual characters and were able to bring their roles to life. 

The production used aerial choreography to make the characters fly through the air, which added a level of complexity for the actors and crew, but brought the performance to another level and thoroughly impressed the audience. Denis in particular was able to do impressive aerial choreography while performing complicated vocals that left the audience in awe. During this, she even hung upside down while she sang! 

The costumes and set design worked well with the musical and it was clear that a lot of thought had gone into producing the show. My favorite part of the show was the musical numbers. The singing was skillful and the choreography and staging were extremely entertaining. 

As for the musical itself, I went into the show already knowing the plot, but I have heard from many people that it was hard to follow if you didn’t already have prior knowledge. Despite this, I thought that the show was very visually enjoyable and it was obvious that the cast and the crew had put an immense level of effort into it. 

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