Draper’s ‘MisCast’ production features musical hits with an imaginative twist
Dec 10, 2019 12:36PM
● By Stephanie Yrungaray
An all-girl ensemble performs a hit song from “Newsies” in Draper’s “MisCast” production. (Stephanie Yrungaray/City Journals)
By Stephanie Yrungaray | [email protected]
With green hills alive in the background and a lederhosen-clad Rolf riding a bike on stage, all signs pointed to a “typical” performance of “16 Going on 17.” Then Leisl started scrolling through her cell phone.
This “MisCast” performance was part of Draper Arts Council’s final show of the year, performed on Nov. 8, 9 and 11 at the Draper Historic Theatre. Twenty-eight cast members played with time, gender, age and characters to create 16 Broadway mash-ups and parodies, like a dog performing “Memories,” Wednesday from the Addams’ Family singing “Part of Your World” and a modern “16 Going on 17” (selfies included).
Broadway holds an annual “Miscast” gala, but this is the first time it has been done in Draper. First-time Director Jessica Yergensen approached the arts council with the idea and they loved the concept.
“We said absolutely yes,” said arts council member and “MisCast” Producer Jocelyn Allred. “Jessica has done shows with the Draper Arts Council before. We knew of her talents and her work ethic and how things translate from her head to the stage and said we will try this.”
People came from all over the valley to try out for the unique show.
“It hasn’t been done in this area,” said Riverton’s Leah Allred. “It is so fun to get to play a character you probably wouldn’t ever get the chance to play.”
Yergensen said she and musical director Dave Martin had a few songs in mind during tryouts.
“I wanted [the show] to be lighthearted,” Yergensen said. “It was important to choose songs people were familiar with. That is part of what makes the show funny. People need to recognize the song to know how it is miscast.”
Chad Smith, who starred as Rolf and performed in three other numbers, said the process to create the show was enjoyable.
“They gave us tons of leeway,” Smith said. “The director and musical director gave us great ideas and then said have fun with it.”
“Honestly it was one of the best experiences,” said performer Chelsea Ottoson. “It’s been so much fun to just be silly with so many people. It brings you together. We’ve all been laughing and building each other up.”
That laughter spread right to the “MisCast” audience.
“On opening night I was really worried if the audience would get my sense of humor,” Yergensen said. “The audience participation was great. They laughed the whole time — it was exactly what I wanted.”
“If it is half as fun to watch as it is to perform, it will be a roaring success,” Smith said.
And three sold-out shows proved his theory correct. Yergensen said she has already been commissioned to direct and choreograph next year’s “MisCast” in Draper.
“It has just been a fun, talented cast and crew and it was delightful to work with everybody,” Jocelyn Allred said. “The community theater world is very small and productions are all about old friends coming together and making new friends.”