SKYLIGHT MUSIC THEATRE is showing SuperYou at the Cabot Theatre from May 26-June 18. Here are five reasons why you should catch the musical while it’s in town.
1. The Hipster Credit
Skylight Music Theatre’s entry into the World Premiere Wisconsin festival isn’t just any world premiere. SuperYou is one of the most highly anticipated musicals of the year (and a TikTok sensation) written by Lourds Lane and produced by Broadway alums. It’s making its developmental debut in Milwaukee before heading to London’s West End and probably a lot of major stages around the world. This is an opportunity to be among the first to see a show that has all the ingredients to be a Broadway hit. I expect that theater fans will be hearing a lot more about Lightning Girl and the Boltz in the coming years as this show travels from stage to stage, so be among the few who can say “I saw it before it was big.”
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2. The Story
The inspiring production follows comic book artist Katie White (portrayed by Kennedy Caughell). We’re first introduced to her as a young girl (played by Serena Parrish), when she meets a group of lovable misfits who, like her, are bullied by their classmates, parents and worst of all, their own self-doubt and insecurities. But Katie imagines a brighter future for them all. She sketches them as the Boltz (with a “z,” so that it’s not cute), a crew of empowered superwomen who back up the hero she drew for herself: Lightning Girl. The comics she makes are an about-face from the quiet life she’s living. “I’m not the special one, I color in the lines,” a young Katie sings. Meanwhile the audiences sees how this is so obviously a bold-faced lie. Katie’s extraordinary, and like so many people, she doesn’t see her own potential. Her nemesis is the pirouetting, disco ball-dressed Mi Roar (portrayed by the show’s dance captain Blake Zelesnikar). Say the name out loud, and you’ll get a big fat hint of who her real enemy is. It takes moving songs from the Boltz – Blast (Jenna Rubaii), Seven (B Noel Thomas), Rise (Wren Rivera) and Ima-Mazing (Shelby Griswold) – for her to see her own power both as Lightning Girl and as Katie, a super talented comic book writer.
3. It’s of the Moment
From the superhero craze to the omnipresence of TikTok, this show feels incredibly current. The set design uses screens to show off Katie’s comic book designs and even the viral illustrated videos she makes for her boyfriend, who is taking credit for her talent (boooo). While often screens in live theater are an unwelcome distraction, in this case they are a lively addition that adds to the artistry of the show and the feeling that these comic book characters are coming to life off the pages. This show is timely for another reason, too: Pride month. Our superheroes sing their truths, spanning from life as a plus-size woman to the transgender journey, and they encourage you to be true to you, too. It’s beautiful.
4. The Songs (and the Singers)
When I saw this show, people were on their feet cheering for this cast of belting singers long before the curtain call. Folks shouted “sing,” whooped and cheered as the all-star squad took the stage by storm. The performances were incredible, especially from Caughell as the lead, who is featured on the SuperYou: The Musical Concept Album. Obviously, many in the audience had listened to the album in advance, because there were quite a few people singing along with huge smiles on their face, making the show all the more fun.
5. The Message
There is something super about being you. Yes it’s cheesy, but it’s a nice reminder.