BY KAYLA GATES
From the moment the curtains opened, audiences knew they were in for a show. The CCHS Thespians exceeded expectations, delivering an exceptional performance of “Daybreak,” which told a powerful story viewers are sure to enjoy.
Nick Ibanez starred as John Delaney, a convicted murderer who awaits his controversial sentence on death row. Over the course of the show, viewers gain insight on his life through his family, lawyers and psychologists. Presented with both sides, it is up to the audience to determine whether or not Delaney truly deserves his punishment.
While much of Delaney’s story was told through the supporting characters, Ibanez stole the show with his powerful solos. He spent the majority of the show sitting quietly in his cell, only to suddenly rise up and deliver a heartfelt performance through song. His voice expressed every emotion his character felt, making him a perfect fit for Delaney.
One of the most notable aspects of “Daybreak” was its incredible cast. The musical showcased a variety of talent across the board, whether it was through acting, singing or dancing. The passion each performer displayed in their role brought both the characters and the story to life.
Ibanez stole the show with his powerful solos.
The entire cast did a great job of incorporating sign language into the show, as one of the characters was deaf. Many of their musical numbers included hand signals that reflected the lyrics they were singing. Hallie Israel, who played John Delaney’s deaf mother, put on a remarkable performance in particular, singing and signing her lines simultaneously for the entirety of the show.
While “Daybreak” contained many serious elements, viewers could look forward to its fun musical numbers. The cast came together to perform multiple upbeat songs, which were accompanied by synchronized dance routines. The music and choreography worked perfectly together.
The cast also displayed a chemistry that elevated their performances. The performers worked extremely well together, timing their dance moves and harmonizing with each song. One notable pair included Annabelle Rosa and Sabrina Rapoport, who portrayed Delaney’s concerned doctors.
Although the show was heavy in emotion, a few scenes offered some comedic relief. The banter among the show’s “jailbirds” caused many laughs from the audience. Ashley Reep, Francesca Duarte, Kayla Kissel and Isabella Arosemena played just a few of the hilarious characters that won the crowd over with their witty lines.
The scenery lacked luster and could have been more visually appealing.
One of the most powerful moments of the show took place near the end of the story. The opposing sides could be observed fighting for and defending their differing beliefs. The scene highlighted the positives and negatives associated with the death penalty, a significant topic of discussion in today’s society.
After many ups and downs, the musical came to an unfortunate and emotional end. Despite efforts to free him, Delaney was left to face his sentence. In the final scene, Ibanez is observed leaving his cell for the first time, only to be escorted off stage. The cast came together for one last song, expressing the solemn mood accompanying Delaney’s death.
While strongly executed, the musical did contain a few technical errors. Audio trouble made some performances difficult to hear. Additionally, the scenery lacked luster and could have been more visually appealing. However, these minor obstacles did not take away from the quality of the show.
All in all, the CCHS Thespians successfully produced and performed another phenomenal show. “Daybreak” had something to offer for everyone, whether it be an interesting plot, a powerful message or entertaining musical numbers. The talented cast brought the story of John Delaney to life and left audiences wanting more.
- Interesting story
- Outstanding performances
- Entertaining and emotional
- Audio issues
- Underwhelming set
Disclaimer: Annabelle Rosa is an editor for The Lariat.
Photo by Kayla Florenco