The Big Breakup Is A Big Success


Emilie Bowman, Editor-in-Chief

The Big Breakup hit the Shepard stage on April 5 and 6, showcasing some of the most talented students at Shepard. Along with the NOVA cast and combo band, individual performers got to show off their talent on the stage.

Not only were the performances entertaining but sophomore Meagan Ruger-Smith and junior Max Szykowny added amusing commentary and shoutouts from friends, family, and other supporters as emcees.

The NOVA cast kicked off the night with a rendition of “50 Ways to Say Goodbye” by Train with the help of the combo band before handing the stage over for the first solo performance of the night, senior Ryan Wyrobek. Wyrobek sang “Fight the Dragons” from the musical Big Fish.

After Wyrobek was senior Elizabeth Jeeninga singing “Simple Little Things” which was followed by junior Noah Treat playing Kansas’ “Carry on My Wayward Son” on not one but two saxophones, impressing the entire crowd.

Seniors Colton Athy and Kira Longawa put their hearts on their sleeves for their performances of “Words Fail” and “Into the West” respectively before senior Alan Krolikowski sent goosebumps through the crowd with his rendition of “The Writing’s on the Wall” originally sung by Sam Smith for the soundtrack of the 2015 James Bond movie Spectre.

Following Krolikowski was the ladies of NOVA singing “Tears” with a solo by junior Rachel Lappano who won both the Best Female Soloist in Show and the Best Female Contest Soloist at the Manteno Main Event earlier this season.

Sophomore Lena Werner channeled her inner Eliza Hamilton and gave the audience an unforgettable performance of “Burn” from the 2015 musical “Hamilton” by Lin-Manuel Miranda. Aries Garcia, junior, then sang “Je T’aime” before senior Rachel Antone performed “Strasbourg St. Denis” on her saxophone and sophomore Mia Halteman sang “Tightrope.”

Sophomore Avalyn Krastin then took the stage, impressing the crowd with her performance of “Don’t Rain on My Parade,” ending solo performances for Act 1.

After the crowd died down from Krastin’s performance, NOVA retook the stage and officially ended the first half with their version of “Tears of a Clown,” featuring a solo performance by senior Lucas Lowry.

After intermission, NOVA reclaimed the stage to sing “Cry Baby,” featuring a solo by Alan Krolikowski who won the Best Male Soloist in Show at the Manteno Main Event 2019.

Senior Kaitlyn Shelton then sang “Even Though” before a rendition of “Only Us” by Ryan Wyrobek and sophomore Cassadie Comiskey, who happens to be his girlfriend. After the performance some of Wyrobek and Comiskey’s friends stormed the stage with signs, helping Ryan ask Cassadie if it could be “only us” at prom.

Sophomore Paige Nowak then sang “Home” followed by junior Eric Spindler performing “Bergentruckung” and sophomore Alexia Tischer singing “Thank You for the Music.”

Next a group guys who call themselves the Hangdog Hooligans took the stage to perform “Here’s to Life” by Streetlight Manifesto. The boys dedicated their performance to their friend Jakub ‘Slug’ Zolnic who unfortunately could not perform with them. Senior and combo member Zach Chua played baritone saxophone, senior Jason Covone played bass guitar, senior Mitchell Elzinga played the trumpet, and senior AJ Kitzmiller played the trombone while his brother, sophomore Jasper Kitzmiller, killed it on the drums.

Also with them on stage we’re seniors Lucas Lowry and Mario Owens doing vocals/guitar and alto saxophone respectively while junior Noah Treat showed off some impressive saxophone skills as well.

After the performance, Lowry welcomes his girlfriend and crew member sophomore Kylie Cronin onto stage with a lively promposal to which she said yes.

Once the group left the stage, NOVA came out to sing “Cry” with solos by seniors Kaitlyn Shelton and Ryan Wyrobek before handing the stage back over to Lowry for his solo performance of “Gethsemane,” which won him Best Male Contest Solist at the Manteno Main Event 2019.

Sophomore Avalyn Krastin and senior Alan Krolikowski joined each other on stage for a duet, giving all ABS musical fans a rush of excitement after their amazing performance together in The Secret Garden back in November of 2018. The two sang “All I Ask of You,” a song from the 1989 musical and 2004 movie version of The Phantom of the Opera, raising goosebumps on the skin of spectators.

After Krastin and Krolikowski, sophomore Chloe Turner claimed the stage, bringing with her a sassy attitude and Pink Ladies jacket circa the 1950’s to sing “Freddy My Love” from the 1971 musical version of Grease.

With the night quickly coming to an end, sophomores Cassadie Comiskey, Samantha Dell, Cynthia Escamilla, Paige Nowak, Serena Staszak, Alexia Tischer, and Lena Werner performed a mashup of Adele’s “Rumor Has It/Someone Like You,”choreographed mainly by Assistant Director Ernest Crossley.

Junior Rachel Lappano then took center stage as the last solo performer of the night, singing “She Used to be Mine” by Sara Bareilles, amazing the crowd for the second year in a row.

After Lappano, NOVA performed a mashup of their own, “Stronger/Bye, Bye, Bye,” officially ending all performances for the night. Although the curtain closed, it didn’t last long. Senior performers and crew members took the stage one last time, passing around a microphone to personally thank the parents who have been just as involved in NOVA as the kids themselves.

Senior Lucas Lowry finally called the man of the night, the NOVA Director himself, Michael Fallon, on the stage but not before giving a humorous anecdote about the close relationships that have been made over the past few years.

Senior Kaitlyn Shelton spoke about the friendships she’s made over the years, calling it a “bond that will never break” considering many of the departing seniors have been performing onstage together since junior high and in some cases even elementary school.

Finally the microphone landed in Fallon’s hands. Not only did he thank his assistant director Ernest Crossley, Vocal Director Carrie Taghon-Molloy, Accompanist Donna Meyer, but many more as well for helping his last year run so smoothly. Lastly Fallon thanked the parents and the students for being such a large influence on his life before concluding the night with a group hug onstage.