Ramapo’s newest musical production takes audiences on a ride

This weekend, the Berrie Center put on its first three performances of Jacob Richmond and Brooke Maxwell’s “Ride The Cyclone,” a musical exploring life and how we choose to experience it.

 To begin the show, six teenagers in a Canadian chamber choir from the fictional town of Uranium, Saskatchewan, die in a freak accident while riding a roller coaster called “The Cyclone.” They wake in a limbo where a mechanical fortune teller hosts them in a competition for a prize relevant to all of them — the opportunity to live. As the students share their stories, the audience must ask themselves: how can the worth of one’s life be measured, especially when the judgment determines five deaths and only one second chance?

As they have many times before, the Berrie Center brings this show to life marvelously with the acting and musical performances, directional and design choices, lighting and visual effects, and sound management, all contributing to the experience. All these elements help creatively and effectively immerse the audience in the haunting in-between in which the central story takes place and capture the different moods of each student’s story. 

Here the performers sing about a characters struggles in life and how he overcame them. Photo courtesy of Mason Murphy

The musical aspect of the show used to express these stories was astounding, the sound design and talent of the actors adding depth to the overall production. Additionally, the lighting and visual effects, including the use of a mystic fog onstage, were particularly stunning and crucial in creating the show’s mysterious atmosphere, all while highlighting the amusement park-inspired set and the actors’ individual performances.

 “Ride The Cyclone” uniquely features its cast, giving each of them the opportunity to shine as they present their characters’ stories. Each character embodied a superlative within the town they hail from: the most successful, the most romantic, the angriest, the most imaginative, the nicest and the most unknown. Each member of the cast worked hard to hone their performances into the near-professional final product unleashed on the stage this week. 

In a post-show interview with The Ramapo News, performers described the rehearsal process as quite unique due to how the cast and crew were able to collaborate with a production team of many professional guest artists. Julie Deltuvia, the actress who plays Constance in the show, said this made the experience “rewarding” and “more enriching as an actor who wants to be in the field.” 

The character performances, in tandem with all of the production’s other elements, make this show both entertaining and meaningful. Life can definitely take unexpected turns and, at times, be trying and uncertain. However, after hearing the stories of these varying characters, audience members certainly walk out of this show with a newfound appreciation for life and a fresh perspective on taking life for the wild ride it is.

The show will have three more performances tonight, tomorrow and Saturday at 8 p.m., so don’t miss your opportunity to see this powerful performance. Tickets are $5 for Ramapo students and $15 for others at the Berrie Center box office. 




Featured photo courtesy of Mason Murphy