The power of forgiveness shines in ‘High Fidelity’


Sarah Fabian

Ahmad Simmons in “High Fidelity.” NEIU students get one free ticket with student I.D.

Cecilia G. Hernandez, Writer

Stage Center Theatre’s production of “High Fidelity” opened this past Thursday, Nov. 29 and it was a music-filled story about a person trying to win their ex-lover’s heart again.

We followed Record Store Owner Rob (played by North Central College graduate Mark Yacullo) as he was dumped by his girlfriend Laura (played by Columbia College student Taylor Danae), and saw how he tries to improve his life in order to win her back.

Rob took us through memory-lane with his list of the top five exes that really broke his trust, and we saw Rob finally realizing how the baggage of his past prevented him from being fully present in his relationship with Laura.

This realization prompted Rob to acknowledge how much he truly loved Laura and forced him to embark on a introspective journey where he learned to ask for forgiveness.

Not only did I find this play very relatable, the take away I got from “High Fidelity” was beautiful: In order to move on, we must first accept our past and forgive those who hurt us, including ourselves.

What I appreciated most was the voice of NEIU junior Cherita Q. Warren (playing Liz). Liz is the mutual friend of Rob and Laura and often served as Rob’s voice of reason during the play. Her soulful, strong vocals added a colorful mix to the overall musicality of “High Fidelity.”

Yet who I believed really rocked my world was Columbia College student Ahmad Simmons (playing Rob’s coworker Barry) with his smooth, seductive voice and comedic dialogue. I found myself laughing the most when he was on stage, delivering line after line of comedic relief.

A great surprise was the live orchestra creating the play’s music. Lincoln Park High School seniors Maggie Szot and David Arkema shared that they came to Stage Center Theatre for their first time to see their music teacher, Music Director Jacob Fjare, perform in the orchestra.

“I think, for our first time, I think it’s really fun and it engages the audience a lot,” Szot said about the play. “I like it. It’s a good experience.”

“I really like how close the actors are and I like the music. It’s cool that we can hear their voices pretty clear,” Arkema said.

However there was an unexpected light that exploded from the ceiling before the end of the first song. When asked if Szot thought the exploding light was on purpose, she said, “I don’t think so. They actually came here to pick up the pieces of glass up.”

Managing Artistic Director Sarah Fabian and Director Adam Goldstein came out to clean up the aftermath of the light, which happen to slightly miss the heads of two guests sitting in the front row of the center section.

“Things happen,” Szot said while shrugging and smiling the incident off.

The light exploding wasn’t the only thing I couldn’t help but notice. For one, not many major roles in the play were performed by NEIU students.

Of course there was Stage Center Theatre’s favorite NEIU student Ian Williams who plays a zen, foil character to Rob. However, I noticed the three characters who appeared to have the most impact on the play were from other universities.

Another was how thin Danae’s voice sounded throughout her performances; her voice fell flat to me since I could barely hear her despite using a microphone. Danae brought plenty of spunk to her edgy moments as Laura, but her tendency to speak very quickly made me miss most of her dialogue.

Hopefully the show improves with each upcoming performance.

Directed by Communications, media and theatre professor Adam Goldstein, along with Jacob Fjare on music and Daniel Spagnuolo on choreography, “High Fidelity” will be playing Dec. 6 and 7 at 7:30 p.m. and Dec. 8 at 2 p.m. and 7:30 p.m.  NEIU students get one free ticket when they present their student identification card to the box office or at the Welcome Desk.