The student news sites of Edmond Memorial High School.

Ruff Draft

The student news sites of Edmond Memorial High School.

Ruff Draft

The student news sites of Edmond Memorial High School.

Ruff Draft


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Falling in love with Follies

Jacie Scott

On Jan. 25 Edmond Memorial High School premiered its 45th annual Follies performance, and as per usual, the EMHS theater arts department did not disappoint. I am an avid attendee of all of EMHS’s theater productions, and this year’s Follies had some of my favorite acts ever.

Emcees Van Hartman, Presley Owen, David Pehrson and Annabelle Piper hosted the show this year. The emcees are a fun part of the show, providing quick jokes and commentary between acts, but this year they went above and beyond.

EMHS’s musical theater performance class opened the show with their number “Mama Mia Medley,” which began the show with an upbeat 70s vibe (disco ball included). They entered the stage covered in sparkles from head to toe and sang beautifully. The solo singers were incredible and overall this performance began the show with a bang.

A few acts later, Pehrson re-entered the stage, singing “Ain’t No Mountain High Enough” by Marvin Gaye and Tammi Terrell. At first I thought the audio was a recording of the original singer’s voice, but in reality Pehrson’s voice sounded strikingly similar to Marvin Gaye’s. Berlin Flurry played the other part of the duet, and her voice was equally as stunning. The two dressed up in ‘60s inspired outfits, with a live band that also adhered to the dress code.

Next was a performance of “What is this Feeling?” from the iconic musical “Wicked,” which follows the story of the Wicked Witch of the West, Elphaba, from “The Wizard of Oz.” In this act Addie Hoppers played Elphaba, and Paige Medley Glinda the Good Witch. Both of the girls’ voices were incredibly strong and their acting was phenomenal. I loved all of the acts that incorporated an ensemble, as it added depth to the music and made the act much more entertaining. 

When I opened the playbill and saw the name “I’m Just Ken” as an act, I could not wait for this performance. The group that performed it based it off of the scene in “Barbie”  and tried to follow the original as closely as possible and they did an incredible job. The act featured an ensemble, pool floaties, dance battles and shirts that read “I am Kenough.” It was one of, if not my favorite, acts of the whole show. The boys were hilarious but not at the expense of beautiful, strong voices. Even for the older people in the audience that maybe had not seen the movie, the performance was still funny enough for them to enjoy.

The EMHS orchestra performed Frank Sinatra’s “New York, New York.” They took a classic song and performed it to perfection. The musicians were serious throughout the performance, and they had incredible stage presence. 

With tradition, EMHS’s show choir Act II opened Act 2 of the show. They stunned in their sparkly dresses and suits while singing their mashup “Rock Around the Clock”/”You’ll Be Mine (Party Time).” They sounded incredible since there were so many people on stage at once. Unfortunately, this year they were missing their counterpart, “Take Note” and while I’m not sure why they did not perform this year, they were missed during this performance. 

In a breathtaking piano performance, Evan Kaneaster played JVKE’s “Golden Hour,” which gained attention on TikTok a few years ago. Since I had heard the song before, the anticipation for the climax began once I recognized the song, and Kaneaster delivered. I can only imagine the reaction of people that had never heard the song.

In a stunning performance, Connor Halley took the stage in a jazzy number titled “That’s Life.” Singers and musicians filled the stage to accompany Halley’s singing. This was one of my overall favorite acts, since it incorporated so many people. The live music was incredible and the act would not have had the same effect if it has been performed with a track.

In another hilarious musical number, Cannon Bushman and Colin Nye took the stage in a dramatic performance of “Man or Muppet.” One thing that I’ve noticed that EMHS does well is putting together acts that showcase lovely voices while also making the audience laugh.

The EMHS Jazz Band closed the show as they always do, but this year they took the stage with 60s swag. The band members wore flare pants, sparkles and fun glasses. As always, the Jazz Band dazzled the audience and made me want to jump out of my seat and dance. 

I was disappointed to see that the tradition of a “Senior Follies” act didn’t make the cut. As a senior myself, I can see how many seniors in the show and their parents would be disappointed by this. I was really looking forward to it considering how last year’s Senior Follies was one of my favorite acts.

Additionally, almost all of the acts this year were songs, while in former years, Follies featured many more skits and acting performances. Although I did love the singing, I also missed the acting, and I hope they bring it back next year.

Overall, Follies continues to be a wonderful and renowned performance at EMHS. This year’s performance was just as wonderful as the rest. Following this amazing show, the EMHS theater arts program will be showcasing the highly anticipated musical “Beauty and the Beast” March 7-9. 

Contact Macey Thaxton at [email protected]

About the Contributor
Macey Thaxton
Macey Thaxton, Co-Editor-in-Chief
Hi there! My name is Macey Thaxton, I’m a senior this year and I’m proud to be one of the Co-Editors-in-Chief for the Ruff Draft! This is my fourth year writing for the newspaper and I’ve loved every moment of it. Outside of school, I’m an 11th-year Girl Scout and a barista at a local coffee shop. I also enjoy reading, writing and traveling in my free time. I’m so excited to write for the Ruff Draft one last time!