Waa-Mu debuts with new twist

The cast of “Flying Home” performs during a small showing Thursday evening at Cahn Auditorium. The show will officially open Friday night.

Melody Song/Daily Senior Staffer

The cast of “Flying Home” performs during a small showing Thursday evening at Cahn Auditorium. The show will officially open Friday night.

Amanda Gilbert, Reporter

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The annual Waa-Mu show opens Friday, bringing Northwestern a full-book musical this year.

Writer Desiree Staples said that unlike past years, the 2013 show focuses on topics outside of the NU community. Titled “Flying Home: Down the Rabbit Hole, Over the Rainbow, and Straight on Till Morning,” the show combines stories from “Alice in Wonderland,” “Peter Pan” and “The Wizard of Oz.”

“It’s very cool because it involves characters that we know,” Staples said.

The original musical could be done anywhere in the world, using common fairy tales that almost everyone has grown up with, Staples said. She said the audience will see a different side to these well-known characters as they cope with struggles the audience can relate to, she said.

The musical follows a group of young schoolboys who try to find their way home after becoming lost in the worlds of Wonderland, Oz and Neverland. They learn how to handle entering adulthood after meeting Dorothy, Alice and Wendy.

Waa-Mu co-chair Jack Mitchell said this is the first year the show has featured a full-book musical. Last year, the show followed multiple story lines in a revue format. Staples added that the show combines different styles of music, ranging from blues numbers to gospel numbers.

“After starting with a blank page, it is exciting to see everything come together,” the Communication senior said.

Staples noted the uniqueness of the show, which involves more than 100 students who created a full-score musical in a year.

“Literally a year ago I remember I was on the Lakefill coming up with an idea,” Staples said. “Now it is a fully fleshed musical.”

Working on Waa-Mu was unique because of the high level of student involvement, scenic designer Scott Davis said. He began to design the show before the script was finished, he said. Seeing all the different work come together during technical week has been “exciting,” he said.

“There’s just such a high level of energy in the room,” Davis said.

Waa-Mu started in 1928 as a joint production between the Women’s Athletic Association and the Men’s Union and the show brings together the talent of the NU community, Staples said.

“Everyone wants to be a part of it, or at least come to it,” she said.

Performances will run Friday through Sunday and May 9 to 12 in Cahn Auditorium. Tickets will range from $10 to $30.