Augustana Observer

Augustana Observer

Augustana Observer

“Nine” hits the Quad Cities for first time

Giang Do
Sophomore Kaden Micklos (left), Junior Mukupa Lungu (middle) and Senior Rose Klinger (right) perform during the NINE tech rehearsal in the Brunner Theater on Nov. 13.

Augustana’s premiere of “Nine” will take the main stage Nov. 16 in a whirlwind of drama, music and love depicting the story of troubled Italian filmmaker Guido Contini. 

This musical follows the story of Contini as he is crushed under the stress of finishing the script for his next movie and his crumbling marriage as his attention is pulled away from his wife, his work and onto his mistress Carla. When he proposes a trip in an attempt to sort out his issues, Guido finds himself plagued by all the women in his life, both past and present, including his mother, his producer and his muse. 

Senior Jack McCurdy, who will be performing as the lead Guido Contini, said that Guido struggles throughout the show to find some symmetry in his work life and his love life.

“He’s trying to balance the stress of writing this movie on top of managing the multiple relationships he has,” McCurdy said. “It’s really a balancing act of can he write this movie in time while also keeping all the people in his life happy.”

“Nine” will be directed by Associate Professor of Theater Arts, Shelley Cooper, along with Associate Professor and Film Program Director, Stacy Barton. This will be the first play at Augustana in which students in a film major, which was established in 2022, will be able to incorporate their skills to a production. The play will involve several film aspects, such as projections for the background which have been prepared by the students. 

First-Year Jensen Stoneking, a dancer, nurse and reporter in the play, said that the new elements of film in the play give it a unique and amazing twist that hasn’t been explored yet at Augustana.

“People should definitely come to see the incredible film aspect of the play,” Stoneking said. “We have some parts that are going to be filmed and projected on a screen behind us while we’re doing stuff, and that’ll be really cool.”

Rehearsals for “Nine” began in early October, going three days a week, with high energy levels and positive attitudes from the entire cast.

Senior Rose Klinger plays Saraghina the prostitute and also works as the assistant choreographer. Klinger said that the performance of the cast and crew has been incredible as they come down to the end of rehearsals and start to prepare for a live audience.

“This is definitely one of the biggest musicals Augustana has put on,” Klinger said. “It involves the most people, and the biggest set and the biggest undertaking, and all of my fellow actors are working so hard. I’m really proud of everyone and I love getting to showcase all the talent we have here at Augustana.”

The effort going into this play is especially high given that this will be the first time “Nine” will be shown in the Quad Cities, which is a huge source of excitement for the cast and crew.

Junior Maggie Caliendo, who will perform as Guido’s mistress Carla, said that everyone feels the pressure of the show but are working to make this performance one to remember. 

“We’re all working hard to make this a breakout production,” Caliendo said. “This is the first time the musical has been produced in the Quad Cities, and that’s huge. We want it to be great, and we want everyone to enjoy it just as much as we do.”

“Nine” will be performed on the main stage of Brunner Theatre at 7:30 p.m. from Nov. 16 to Nov. 18, and at 1:30 p.m. on Nov. 19. Tickets are free to Augustana students with ID.

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