The Lake Park Perspective

The Student News Site of Lake Park High School

The Lake Park Perspective

The Lake Park Perspective

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Frankie Ponzio (center, LP ‘24,), Jack Colucci (back left, LP ‘27), Javarius Lane (back center, LP ‘26), and Brinly Wilson (back right, LP ‘24), perform in their One Act play,
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For Narnia! Chronicles an excellent holiday wrap-up

Peter (left) and Fenris Ulf (right) duke it out as Aslan’s followers tensely watch in LP Theater’s recent performance of The Chronicles of Narnia.

It’s finally here, the last theatre production of 2023. We started in March with the Harry Potter rewrite of Puffs, dazzled with The Drowsy Chaperone, and ended with the highly-anticipated The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe, All the amazing productions in between–Frozen Jr., Aladdin and the Wonderful Lamp, Clue, and Plaza Suite–made this calendar year one to remember.
Under Mr. Erik Uppling as director and Mia Mannella (LP ‘24) as Stage Manager, LWW followed siblings Peter (Julian Mostowski, LP ‘25), Sarah (Eden Strahan, LP ‘24), Lucy (Kaylee Kartholl, LP ‘27), and Edmund (Jack Colucci, LP ‘27) and their escape from WWII’s Battle of Britain towards the countryside. Upon entering an old wardrobe, they are transported to the magical realm of Narnia, where it’s always winter but never Christmas–at least not with the witch *I mean queen* in charge.
As any classic hero would, the four children temporarily leave behind their earthly lives and venture on dangerous quests throughout Narnia, prophesied to take back the throne from the ‘queen’ (Brinly Wilson, LP ‘24) for the lion king Aslan (Phillip Howlett, LP ‘26).
With literal time-slowing battle scenes and a huge host of amusing background characters, the show never fails to entertain. This was exemplified by Mrs. and Mr. Beaver (Dani Iskra and Luke Thomas, LP ‘26), who serve as faithful guides to the protagonists. I wasn’t sure what to make of their affirmation that humans should be higher than other animals (though a general analysis could soon grace this paper), but their whimsical home life and commitment to hospitality made them excellent characters.
Mr. Tumnus (Chris Raymond, LP ‘24) is my bet for the probable fan-favorite. This faun (half goat, half human) brought such positive energy even when the queen’s dark forces drew stronger, and even when he doubted himself, he and the rest of Aslan’s army demonstrated that everyone’s talent lies in their unique place. You could even see this in less obvious places. Many non-human animals made up the background cast, often commenting on the state of Narnia. I noticed the fox (Aayush Sharma, LP ‘27) subtly interacting with the audience, at one point seeming to mouth, “Which way did he go? That way? Thanks,” before the cast walked off towards their destination.
Scripted or not, it’s moments like these that spice up the presentation and give the show a feeling of fluidity the audience can get behind. Then of course there were the British accents and the Turkish delights, Edmund’s favorite candy.
Each production had candy grams available, where the students involved can receive candy along with messages from the fans. With mixed reviews, the Narnia students were given some delights that, though I didn’t taste any, looked amazing and were regardless a nice thematic touch.
Even as someone who’s never seen any of the Narnia chronicles, this was one of my favorite Lake Park productions.
The professional fight choreographer has been hyped for so long and it definitely paid off. Peter’s sword duel with royal guard Fenris Ulf (Julia Kelly, LP ‘25) and the final battle with the witch brought a different kind of excitement to the stage that I can’t remember seeing before.
But that wasn’t all. Narnia went from hard-hitting sword fights to magical moments of wonder and back again. Notably, near the end of the play, the iconic streetlight actually lit up, cutting through the darkness of the auditorium. When a real streetlight goes bright like that, it’s no small experience–I could see the surprise and excitement on the face of the audience.
I’m proud to say that, for this theatre season, I’ve missed only one single production: the second showing of Plaza Suite in November. Seeing Frozen, Aladdin, two editions of Plaza Suite, and all three editions of Clue and Narnia may seem repetitive, but it’s always worthwhile to sit in a new spot or look for something small you missed the first time. At the time of publication, the One Acts are just around the corner, and I expect to be at all of those as well.
Just before the final battle, Peter exclaims to Aslan’s followers, “If this is indeed our last day, let it be done with honor and valor!”
For 2023’s last play, the curtain call came in the same fashion. I heartily agree with Tumnus: I’m so glad I came.

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Philip Sullivan
Philip Sullivan, Senior Editor
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