PARKLAND, FL- As the curtains opened on a local performance of the musical "Matilda" in late February, everything was ready to go. The young students at Broadway Bound in Coral Springs had been practicing for months for the big event, including nearly every week since August of 2020. Additionally, they were persevering through socially distanced practices and wearing masks to comply with COVID protocol.

The performers, including four students at Somerset Parkland Academy, were prepared to do four shows over a weekend in late February. They were to open with a Friday evening show followed by two performances on Saturday and one on Sunday.

Brandon Emanuel (Mr. Wormwood), Jordyn Weiss (Mrs. Wormwood), Vanessa Rodriguez Walker (Ms. Honey), and Skyleigh Taylor Lang (Matilda) each put countless hours of effort into their performances, and it showed as "Matilda" opened beautifully on that Friday evening in late February at The Wick Theater in Boca Raton. Saturday morning was more of the same, and Broadway Bound was again on their way to a masterful performance.

And then Saturday night arrived. All was well, it seemed, for their third consecutive performance. When suddenly, the electricity went out. Half the building was in the dark, and the performance that was in full swing had to stop dead in its tracks. While the adults were working on the power outage, the students were left with an interesting and trying scenario. Should they continue to perform without the help of lights, microphones, and more? Would it be better to scrap the performance entirely? Six months of effort was thrown into an entirely unexpected situation.

The cast, made up of students aged 6-11, decided to put on an additional show to make up for the interrupted performance, pushing the cast to nearly five performances in less than 48 hours.

"I was so proud of the entire cast," said Brandon Emanuel. "What we accomplished with four amazing performances in 48 hours during a pandemic and having to wear face masks the entire time on stage was remarkable."

The students at Broadway Bound found a way to persevere and pull off a weekend of performances that will never be forgotten.


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