Video by Stacey Wong and Ryan Huynh
By Christina Appignani and Neden Bernadin
On Nov. 19th, 20 and 21, Malden High School’s play production performed their annual fall musical, this year’s being Willy Russell’s "Blood Brothers," which was narrated by sophomore Ramon Aguinaldo. The original musical was first produced as a school play, but eventually became a huge success in London’s West End. The musical soon had year-long national tours throughout the United Kingdom and the United States and won several awards along the way.
Act I of the play is set in the early 1960’s in London, England. The crowd was first introduced to Mrs. Johnston played by senior Sarah Vieira whose character is a woman who works as a maid for a wealthy couple. Mrs. Johnston doesn’t have enough money to support her family of seven children after her husband walks out on her. She is distressed when she finds out that she is pregnant with her eighth child, only to find out shortly after that she is having twins.
The couple Mrs. Johnstone works for, Mr. and Mrs. Lyons, played by seniors Marino Di Pietrantonio and Joylyn Norris, deeply desire a child in their lives but are unable to conceive one. Norris claimed that “it’s very challenging to play a mean character, but it is fun.” Once Mrs. Johnston admits to Mrs. Lyons that she cannot afford to raise two more children, Mrs. Lyons suggests that she give one of the twins to her. Mrs. Johnstone reluctantly accepts the deal and gives birth to twins, Mickey and Edward (Eddie), where she gives Eddie to the Lyons only to regret her decision.
Eventually, Mrs Johnstone is fired from her job as the Lyons’ maid because she showed too much attention to Eddie, much to Mrs. Lyons dismay. As Mrs. Johnstone threatens to reveal the truth about their deal to everyone, Mrs. Lyons makes up a superstition that “if twins separated at birth learn that they were once one of a pair, they will both immediately die.” Both women and their families do not see each other for almost eight years until Mickey, played by senior Brayan Angulo accidentally meets Eddie, played by senior Paul Araiza.
As the twins’ friendship grows, they swear to be “blood brothers”. They also become close to Mickey’s neighbor Linda, played by senior Kamila Regalado. Mrs. Johnstone finds the two together and tells Eddie to leave, warning him about coming back.When Mickey goes to Eddie’s house, Mrs. Lyons immediately kicks him out knowing that him and Edward are fraternal twins. Mrs Lyons gets very concerned about Eddie and Mickey’s friendship and she also becomes sick. When Mickey leaves for school, Mrs Johnstone gives him a locket with a picture of them together. By the end of Act 1, both the Lyons and the Johnstones move to another town in England.
Act 2 takes place in the mid 1970s where the twins are 14 years old. Eddie went away to boarding school, but is suspended due to his refusal to give his locket to his teacher. Mickey and Linda have developed feelings for one another, but Mickey is having difficulty approaching her. While going to see Linda, Eddie and Mickey reunited and become friends again. Mrs Johnstone was confronted by Mrs Lyons because she assumed she moved just to get in contact with Eddie.
Fast forwarding four years, the brothers are eighteen years old. Eddie starts developing feelings for Linda, but doesn’t confess to her and goes to a university. Unfortunately, Mickey gets fired from his job and goes on a robbery with his younger brother Sammy, only to be the one for the blame. Linda and Mickey get married, shortly after impregnating her. During the seven years serving time, Mickey develops depression. He becomes addicted to antidepressants pills and neglects his family and Linda. After learning about Linda and Eddie’s secret affair, an enraged Mickey threatened to kill Eddie.
The play concludes with a tragic ending, once again Mickey threatened to murder Eddie and and the police get involved. Mrs. Johnstone finally confesses to the boys that they are fraternal twins and were separated at birth. Filled with sadness and hurt in his voice, Mickey was enraged with why he wasn’t the one given away to the upper class instead of Eddie. With that, Mickey accidentally kills Eddie who is then killed by the police, ending the play.
The play was directed by Head English teacher and Play Production teacher Sean Walsh, who expresses that “[Blood Brothers] is a fantastic show. [Students] are committed to telling the story to people who have never heard of it, and [people] came because [they] were interested in who [Play Production] is and what they have to say." Vieira says that “[Blood Brothers] is really interesting, as it is unlike anything [play pro] has ever done. It’s been a very fun experience and the energy has been amazing."
Junior Aigul Fitzgerald admitted that “[she] was very scared at first and it took a while to come altogether,” but, “everyone’s work paid off to become a fantastic show and [she] is excited to say that [she] was a part of another play production”. The cast, crew and audience were impressed by the play production’s dedication to their final performances.
Above is a video about the class of play productions itself. Filmed and edited by Stacey Wong and Ryan Huynh.