Amadeus – Eastern Regional High School in Voorhees, NJ
November 23, 2015
Review submitted by Victoria Kline of Academy of the New Church
A life, full of unsuccess, yet destined to become immortal through the works he produced. A death, shrouded in mystery and eerie circumstances. This is the story of Amadeus, about Mozart, yet from another’s point of view, a point of view that was brought to thrilling life on the stage of Eastern Regional High School.
The play follows the life story of a man named Antonio Salieri, told from his point of view in a series of flashbacks. While based off of fact, it is still considered a work of fiction, and the circumstances surrounding Mozart’s mysterious death are given a greater connection with Salieri. The spiteful and jealous man declares war on a god he believes is uncaring and selfish. He thinks it unfair that Mozart, an immature and sinful man, has the power to write magnificent and moving music, while he, Salieri, a chaste and good man, can only create the mediocre.
Gary Bowman portrayed the complex character of Salieri spectacularly, the anger, fear, and twisted joy shown through his facial expressions, gesticulations and greatly varying tone of voice. Bowman’s monologues were moving, and he provided an exceptional foil to the childish Mozart. Mozart himself was played by Caleb Schneider, with an indefatigable energy that brought life to his over-the-top character as he rattled off long strings of rapid Italian or French. However, he also provided seriousness and weariness when needed.
Another highlight was the two “Winds”, or “Venticelli”. Played by Kayla Kantakusin and Dominique Iannettoni, these were Salieri’s two gossipers and source of information. They often spoke in unison, or alternating every other word, and did so with amazing coordination. Constanze Weber, the feisty wife of Mozart, was portrayed extremely well by Samantha Youse, who spoke with clarity and sweetness, and laughed with seemingly genuine joy.
The cast on a whole acted with wonderful expressions, and with a variety of walks, from a drunken swagger to a proper and pompous step, making the show extremely entertaining even from the background.
Greatly adding to the show’s success was the extremely well done lighting and tech. Bright colors from fuchsia to golden orange highlighted and complemented the moods of the characters, while a white spotlight drew attention to the focal point of the scene. The music was coordinated perfectly with the actors’ motions, fading in and out as Salieri gazed upon Mozart’s work. Despite a few microphone glitches, the sound was clear and the volume perfect.
Although an extremely difficult play to pull off, Amadeus was executed beautifully by the students of Eastern Regional High School, and was a different sort of tribute to the people of the past, one full of intrigue, suspense, and drama.
Review submitted by Billy Issertell from Cardinal O’Hara High School
As the lights first illuminated the stage of Easter Regional High School’s production of Amadeus little was revealed. One of the greatest composers in history, Antonio Salieri, sat alone surrounded by only darkness and silence. As Salieri began to speak, however, he commenced a tale of jealousy, lost faith, and an insatiable hunger for fame.
Amadeus tells the story of the rivalry between great composers Antonio Salieri and Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart. Salieri, a man of devout faith, finds himself betrayed by God when he recognizes that the music of Mozart, a young man of loose ethics, far surpasses the quality of his own. Salieri shatters the fourth wall as he takes the audience on his journey of vengeance, waging war on God through God’s instrument, Mozart.
The cast of Amadeus brought the story to life in compelling fashion. The ensemble was intensely engaging and carried themselves with a meticulous precision that seemed effortless. They added an impressive layer of professionalism to the show’s overall success.
The role of Salieri was portrayed admirably by Gary Bowman. Bowman commanded the stage with an exceptional presence and had an energy unparalleled by any other performer. He played his character with impressive authenticity and though mostly serious, added a comic flare to his role that cannot go unrecognized. Caleb Schneider who played Mozart displayed superb comedic timing in illustrating Mozart’s childlike immaturity. Schneider also showed extraordinary ability in contrasting Mozart’s jovial emotions in the beginning of the play with his dark thoughts at the end, playing both with brilliant dexterity.
The drama was buttressed by a notable gathering of skilled supporting roles. Constanze Mozart (Samantha Youse) and Emperor Joseph II (Dante Bruzzese), among others, strengthened the foundation of the drama.
The technical aspects only added to the shows professional caliber. The lighting worked in almost perfect harmony with the mood of the show and the set, though simple, was effective in setting the scene of the play. Though there were a few sound errors in the beginning of the performance, the sound quality improved after only a few minutes, a testament to the efforts of the sound technicians.
Overall, Eastern Regional High School’s production of Amadeus was an impressive triumph that was executed with near professional quality.