There is a select collection of songs that most people, no matter their taste in music, will recognize when the opening notes ring out. “Driver’s License” by Olivia Rodrigo is one of these special few.
The Musical Theatre Wing of Boston College (MT Wing) used this cultural phenomenon to its advantage and created a musical based off of Rodrigo’s Grammy-winning album Sour.
On Sunday evening, students packed into the seats of a McGuinn lecture hall, filling the room with anticipatory chatter. MT Wing president Madison Baker, MCAS ’22, welcomed the crowd and thanked the writers of the show, Chloe Frabotta, MCAS ’24, and Megan Malcolm, MCAS ’24.
The makeshift set consisted of the blackboards decorated with different scenes, including a drawing of a bedroom. A string of twinkle lights hung above the board.
The musical, directed by Brooke Flanders, LSEHD ’23, was based on the famous public scandal and alleged love triangle that happened between Rodrigo, her High School Musical: The Musical costar Joshua Bassett, and singer Sabrina Carpenter.
The show began with a high school couple, Boshua Jassett (Javier Gushue, MCAS ’25) and Livy Rodriguez (Ellie Falanga, MCAS ’23), meeting a new transfer student, Marina Farpenter (Ayana Wallace, MCAS ’23).
Wallace kicked off the musical performances with the song “jealousy, jealousy,” as her character, Marina, revealed she wanted to be with Bosh. Wallace let her voice fill the lecture hall as she sang each verse. When the chorus came around, the five ensemble cast members lined up across the floor to perform dramatic dance moves, acting out the lyrics. Wallace wove her way through the line of students as she delivered the familiar chorus.
The scene changed as Marina hurried out the lecture hall doors and Livy took center stage. Livy’s friend Connie Black (Grace Cutler, MCAS ’24) sang to Livy about how she had been neglecting her friendships to spend time with Bosh. Ensemble members came forward to sing different verses to Livy as they created a party scene in the background. Their mock drunkenness earned laughs from the crowd.
When Bosh and Marina entered the party scene and locked lips, the crowd, along with the actors, screamed in horror.
With Livy heartbroken after Bosh’s betrayal, Falanga delivered her moving rendition of the beloved pop song “Driver’s License.” The song began with Livy sitting down alone and comically pulling out a Wii remote shaped like a steering wheel. After an emotional opening, the other students streamed in from the hallway and performed more dramatic dancing behind Livy. Each time Bosh entered the room, the crowd hurled disgusted boos his way.
The remainder of the musical followed the ensuing drama of Bosh and Livy’s relationship. Gushue delivered a solo as Bosh expressed his anger at Livy with the song “brutal.” In the final scene, Marina and Livy ganged up on Bosh as the actors belted out the lyrics to “favorite crime.” With Bosh banished, the stars and ensemble members linked arms and delivered the final lines.
The crowd roared with applause as the final scene came to a close and the actors took their bows. Rodrigo’s track “good 4 u” continued to blast through the speakers, and the crowd screamed the lyrics in unison.
Featured Image by Nicole Vagra / Heights Editor