‘Street Scene’ surprises, shocks students

Zoe Sissac

Walking into Brown Theatre on opening

night, the audience could feel the excitement

radiating from behind the curtain. Tension

built as the premiere inched closer.

Recreating the iconic opera “Street Scene”

may seem like an impossible task for college

students. Even with this daunting task

ahead, the ULM Visual and Performing Arts

program put on an amazing production,

wowing students and faculty.

“There was a really nice plot and plot twists

that I didn’t expect from a college production,”

freshman pre-pharmacy major Cayden

Hatok said.

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Set in the slums of 1940s New York City,

“Street Scene” is not your normal opera. It

combines 1800s opera with a realistic portrayal

of America. The modern-day opera

tells the story of the broken Maurrant family.

Over two days in the brutal New York heat,

the Maurrant family experiences unspeakable

tragedy and heartbreak. The message

at the heart of the Maurrants’ story is the

importance of family and the conquering nature

of love.

The production transported the audience to

1940s America. The actors engaged with the

audience by immersing themselves in their

characters. Mrs. Maurrant’s solos about lost

love were absolutely heart-wrenching.

The duet between Rose Maurrant and Sam

Kaplan, two star-crossed lovers, sounded like

sung poetry. The audience laughed at the

cast’s performance of the famed “Ice Cream

Septet” and was disgusted at Harry Easter’s

relationship with Rose in “Wouldn’t You Like

to be on Broadway.”

“I was surprised by how invested each of the

actors were in their roles,” freshman pre-kinesiology

major Abby Kigerl said.

The orchestra performed each song entrancingly.

Playing over 25 musical arrangements,

the 20-piece orchestra flowed between songs


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All the songs remained unique and entertaining.

The work of the orchestra was not

forgotten as the actors onstage paid tribute to

their fantastic performance.

“I didn’t expect to love it as much as I did,”

freshman political science major Mallory

LaBoeuf said. “The singing was incredible

and the live orchestra was so cool.”

Each performance of “Street Scene” was

dedicated in memory of Derle Long. The acclaimed

band director spent 22 years growing

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ULM’s VAPA program. Street Scene was the

last production Long worked on, serving as a

memorable tribute to an amazing musician.

The production crew was the unspoken

hero of the performance, manipulating lights

and creating sounds that kept the audience

on the edge of their seats. The amazing production

of “Street Scene” could not have

come to life without the theatre staff.

As the cast sang the closing reprise of “Ain’t

It Awful, The Heat?”, the walls of Brown Theater

shook from applause. The four-day run

of Street Scene officially ended with a bang.