On the Musical: The Roar of the Greasepaint, The Smell of the Ground


“Another great production put on by Manhattanville’s theater students!” said a local Purchase resident from the audience. This wonderful production opens up with a beautiful song about the different colors of the rainbow called “The Beautiful Land,” which was performed by The Urchins. Much praise to Mark Cherry, the Stage and Musical Director, whom directed this hilarious musical production.

The Roar of the Greasepaint, The Smell of the Ground is musical comedy that satires the British society and its class system, back in the 1960s. Luck, money, and kindness seem to be the three common themes in the “game” that goes on throughout the play. Cocky, acted out by Christopher Pecci, explained a theory of how to play the game, in his performance of his performance with the Urchins. The song “It Isn’t Enough” simply stated that it is not enough to hope, dream, plot, and/or scheme. Sir, acted by Nicholas Barbera, uses honesty, integrity, and fair play to get what he wants (or so he claims). Sir tries to teach Cocky how to get the girl of his dreams with money, breeding, and kind nature, while advising that flattery is the key that can open any door in life.

It seems very ironic that throughout the play Sir is constantly telling Cocky what to do while also making rules to prevent Cocky from winning the game. Then, Cocky is to recite a new rule and write it down in “The Book.” Sir’s talk of the “unforgivable sins” seem to be very hypocritical. For example, gluttony, laziness, and pride are just a few of the unforgivable sins, in which Sir accuses Cocky of during the game. Nicholas Barbera really brought his character’s snobby attitude to the stage with his talk of unforgivable sins and his fluent Latin.

After speaking to one of the Urchins, sophomore Kristina Horan, the message of the play became clearer. “The musical came to mean a lot to me because it just roots for the underdog and employs the idea of the haves and have-nots. The whole play revolves around the idea of the ‘game of life.’ The wealthy always trump the poor simply because they can. The play also deals with an element of racism and prejudice. This musical breaks a lot of these barriers that are still relevant in our lives today and sends a powerful message.” Miss Horan was very enthusiastic about play and very pleased with the turn out of the audience.

The Manhattanville Community looks forward to the upcoming theater production of Much Ado About Nothing, which will take place from March 26, 2015 through March 29, 2015. And of course, everyone is dying to see the Annual Spring Dance Concert this year!