“Songs in the Key of…” returns with unique focus

By Patrick E. Phillips ~ Arts & Entertainment Editor~

Xavier Players opens its fourth production of its 2013-14 season with “Songs in the Key of… Diaries.” With last year’s “Songs in the Key of… Love,” there is much anticipation for this year’s production and its unique theme.

“Songs in the Key of… Diaries” is Xavier Players’ second annual musical production, centralized around 10 individuals struggling with their secrets.

The show depicts how these secrets affect the relationships they have with themselves and others and how they conflict with their convictions of the world. Five women and men make up the ensemble, singing popular musical numbers such as “Cell Block Tango” from “Chicago” and “Mama Who Bore Me” from “Spring Awakening.”

The production is created solely by Xavier students, directed by junior Alex Spindler, lighting design by junior Alice Trent and musical direction by senior Jonathan Long. The performers will be accompanied by a string quartet and percussion section, as opposed to the backing tracks used in last year’s production.

“Backing tracks don’t allow for the swells and dynamics in the music that having live musicians can,” Long said. “This adds for more possibilities for variety in the performances as well as more student involvement.”

Since the show focuses on secrets, the cast and crew are keeping specific details of the production a secret as well.

“Audiences should expect a whirlwind,” production Stage Manager Hannah Sheppard said. “When you write in a diary, you write about other people and what they do to you and what you do to them, so the show really comments on the depth of relationships.”

Senior cast member Zachary Julian said that the production portrays a wide range of secrets. “Each character is just opening their diary up and showing the character’s past,” Julian said.

The cast chose to have all proceeds for the production donated to Lydia’s House, a faith-based organization that supports women and children in transition and crisis.

The production runs 7:30 p.m. Jan. 30 – Feb. 2 in the Gallagher Student Center Studio Theatre. Tickets are $3 and are available for purchase from 3-6 p.m. Jan. 29 and Jan. 30 in Gallagher Student Center and online at http://www.xavierplayers. com