Trevor – The Musical: Just be yourself
From the opening sequence featuring an actress portraying Diana Ross to the closing number, Trevor: The Musical screams one message: just be true to yourself.
Our leading character Trevor proves from the very beginning that he’s not like the rest of the people in his school or his town for that matter. He wants to dream bigger and go for things other people wouldn’t even dare to dream. His “golden dream” as he calls it is the one thing that he would do anything for, that impossible dream that you make possible. Trevor’s golden dream is to be discovered in his school’s annual talent show and make it big, just like his idol Diana Ross.
The show is sprinkled with Diana Ross quotes and words of wisdom, words that Trevor shares with himself and others who are feeling lost or down on their luck. From the beginning Trevor lets it be known that just because you’re different doesn’t make you “weird” or a bad person. That you can be weird and true to yourself, and still get the things you want out of life.
There are several things that make Trevor “different” from the other kids, including his love of Diana Ross, performing and, later in the show you can see him struggle to realize he might be gay.
Trevor performed by Eli Tokash gave an outstanding performance. Going into the musical I didn’t quite know what I was getting into. I had read somewhere that the play dealt with themes of homosexuality and suicide, but it wasn’t until I got to the theater and saw the set design that I realized it was a play dealing with school-aged children. It makes sense though, junior high can be rough on anyone, and if you’re just a little outside of the norm you can be ostracized. I was nervous that because a number of the cast members were younger, that the production wouldn’t be very good, but I was very wrong. Each lead character filled the role perfectly, no matter their age.
Many themes are explored in “Trevor” – the many levels of friendship, coming to terms with who you are and dealing with adversity. So many different kinds of friendships were developed throughout the play. You see Trevor’s relationship with his best friend, Walter. Their relationship is innocent, boyish and full of its own ups and downs. The two start off very close, but as events unfold, Walter turns on Trevor, too.
Trevor ultimately feels betrayed by Walter, but by the end they realize that their friendship is much stronger than any silly feuds and choose to stay friends. Trevor’s friendship with cool kid Pinky has an interesting arch as well. They get paired up for an “ultimate championship” type challenge in gym class and when Pinky explains how much he doesn’t want to dance in a pink tutu at the talent show, Trevor sees this as an opportunity to be a part of the talent show and they team up. In a series of unfortunate events, Pinky cuts off ties with Trevor in an attempt to remain cool among the other kids in middle school. This relationship was very sad to watch crumble in front of your eyes – bringing back bad memories of the pains of middle school and the cruelty of children that age.
Trevor’s relationship with his parents was complex as well. His parents fail to see that it’s not the worst thing to be gay. Their struggle to talk to him about complex issues was both comical and a relatable issue for many parents. The scene where they sent him to the Tastee Freeze with the priest was very hard to watch. Having the priest explain sexuality and discuss homosexuality brought out awkward and uncomfortable laughs from the audience. A scene I could have lived without.
Above all, I loved the message of Trevor: The Musical which deals with the idea of feeling rejected and giving up all hope, but finding a way to overcome those insecurities in the end. By the end of the play, after rooting for Trevor so much and then seeing him fall, it’s satisfying to see humanity win, to see that after tragedy comes hope. It was a beautiful story with wonderful performances. I almost forgot to mention that the choreography and set were well done! The transitions between scenes were impeccable and visually stunning. I left out some of my favorite moments so that you can enjoy them for yourself! Go and see Trevor: The Musical if you’re into beautiful, powerful and strong messages in the theater.
All photos credit: Michael Brosilow