Overall the UCF theatre production of Titanic: The Musical was phenomenal! Watching all the aspects gave me a different understanding and appreciation of live theatre. The correlation from class discussions to live production is spot on. I already love theatre and going to watch shows but, going in with a perspective to watch all the technical design work gave it more meaning to myself. Throughout the whole show, I was in awe of how cohesive the movements of set changes, to entrances, to the days on the ship were all put together.
I found myself growing angry at some characters and fond of others. One thing I was a little critical about was the staging of the first number, how the actors were presented on the projections and lit up and how they had to squeeze into the line. I didn't like how it was noticeable that they had to work their way in. I also didn't like how the places the actors stood in the first number on the stairs and on the floor was not mirrored. There was the right amount of people but it threw me off when you have two on the stairs on one side while the other side had only one person.
Within directing, watching the musical I clearly saw the director's vision for the show. I understood the movement and choices made because they were done properly and efficiently. Every entrance was swift and precise, as well as made with a purpose in relation to the script. The various levels of direction between upstage, downstage, on the platform (the bridge) and even up the aisle in the audience were flawless and timely. My favorite was the entrance coming down the aisle in the audience, we weren't expecting it and gave us all a shock as well a laugh since the character ultimately missed the ship's departure. The director's note in the playbill had given me an insight into the plot of the show and the tragedy that is the Titanic with numbers and statistics of the actual events.
The role of the dramaturgy was done explicitly and perfectly. The show depicted exactly the time period of the Titanic and it was clearly represented on stage. The dramaturgy helped all the technical designers, for them to complete their jobs respectfully and correctly. The dramaturgy also helped the actors, for some had accents that had to fit in with the role they were to play. I heard all different types of accents: Irish for the "Kates", British, and the American. Each accent had matched perfectly with the character and never faltered. There wasn't a dramaturgy note to read for this musical but even without the note, I still specifically saw the time period that was being displayed and the work is done through the dramaturgy.
As a whole, the acting was impeccable. I was amazed and I wish I was a part of the show as well! It makes me miss the theatre! The accents I stated before were perfect and were consistent. The big numbers where all the voices are strung together were extremely powerful and fulfilling. Hearing all the actors sing at once was outstanding and I loved it. My favorite actors were the older couple (the Straus'), the actors had portrayed those characters perfectly and at the end made me cry at how they stayed together instead of separating from one another. The cast had successfully told the story of the Titanic in a manner where there seemed to be no mistakes. I applaud the cast on such a beautiful job with sharing their voices and heart into the production.
The costumes were perfect to the time period and to the status of the characters. There was a clear distinction between first class, second class, third class, and the workers on the ship. The difference from fur to satin to silk was present and even the added jewels to dresses had that spark. The costumes had a unique light to them that was creative and original. I loved how Alice Beane was wearing a green dress the whole show and in one scene she changed into a green nightgown, keeping the same color scheme to the character so the audience will recognize her.
The lighting of the show was done in such a manner that not only were all the actors lit up but gave the show some meaning. The projections of the ship in the opening was cleaver and it had helped give the scene context. Then, the ship at the end was a nice contrast when you clearly saw the projection tilted and slowly "sinking". With the actors going up the stairs with the projection in the background really portrayed the illusion that they were climbing up the deck to reach the point of the ship. The lightning had also shared the mood of the show, whenever there was a crescendo in the music and singing, the lights brightened highlighting powerful moments.
The sound designer had successfully made every actor heard clearly and in an efficient volume. The sound designer had also made sure there was never a dull moment and ineffective silence. There were always bustling movements, chattering, and glasses of champagne clinking. There was also the big moment of the ship hitting the ice burg where you heard the scrapping of the ship against the ice. The way the sound designer created the sound and how it was long and dragged out, made it feel as if you were getting more and more uncomfortable and anxious.
The set was minimalistic but effective to the storyline. The stairs had served at the entry to the boat and stairs within the boat from the first class to the third class and up to the bridge. The "bridge" was a strip high above the ground of the ship with the steering wheel in the middle. I liked how the projection sheets were served as doors for the passengers for all classes. Also, I liked how when the ship was sinking the platter cart had moved across the stage without anyone touching it.