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A Review of "Ride The Cyclone"

Stacey Addo | Arts & Entertainment Editor

Ride The Cyclone/New York Times/2015

Coming up on mine and many others TikTok’s “for you page” were songs and videos from “Ride the Cyclone,” a musical that follows six high school student from a choir who board The Cyclone,  a faulty roller coaster at an amusement park that tragically ends all of their lives. A mechanical fortune teller gives one of them the chance to return to their lives.

Similarly to the style of “Six: The Musical,” each character has a song where they introduce themselves and then sing a song introducing themselves and why they should be brought back to life. Some of their stories are more tragic than others but, each is distinct and unique. Ocean is a good-two-shoes Rachel Berry (Glee) type character who has dreams of changing the world. Noel is the only gay kid in his small town who loves French cinema and dreams of leaving his small town to live his dream life. Mischa is a Ukrainian adoptee who conceals his passion and is engaged before dying. Ricky was a disabled kid who physically couldn’t express himself but had a very active imagination. Constance was known as the nicest girl in town and loathed her ordinary life and her hometown. But the one that truly stands out is Jane Doe. 

Unlike the other characters, she has no identity. During the accident, she was beheaded and was never identified nor do any of the other students remember her. This aspect of the show makes it beautiful yet eerie. In “The Ballad of Jane Doe” the character sings about the pain of not knowing who she is and asking why this must be her fate. While the show already has dark undertones, “The Ballad of Jane Doe” really leans into this and makes you become attached to Jane Doe.  While she doesn’t have a personality or any specific character traits despite her doll and robot-like features and movement, the song makes you attached to her. As she pleads to know who she is and wonders why no one cared enough to remember her in death, you can't help but feel for her and all the other John/Jane Does that once lived among us.

All the kids talk through some of the things that they struggled through in life that even the closest people to them didn’t know. They’re all highly distinctive but have some sense of relatability that audience members can connect with. In all, the show balances a sense of fun and quirkiness with haunting and heart-wrenching moments that come together to create a show filled with laughter, tears, and thoughtfulness.


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