Sat. Apr 20th, 2024

This past weekend, the music department put on their last opera/theatre performance of the semester: “Bonnets & Bling.”

The shows were performed on April 8th, 9th and 10th at the Madeline Wing Adler Theater in the Swope Music Building.

The musical tells the love story of a New York thug and a Texas beauty that is in a competition with two other Texan ladies to win their town’s annual Easter bonnet competition.

The musical is based off of the short stories of O. Henry and the music is by Matthew Hardy and Robert Maggio.

The music department musicals have opera and theatre classes where music majors can showcase their talents beyond singing in choirs and recitals. The classes meet twice a week and they put on one production per semester.

The cast includes 16 students, which consists of some music majors and some theatre majors.

Act one of “Bonnets & Bling” begins with Tonia Weaver, the reigning champion of her town’s annual Easter bonnet competition.

Her friends look for an opportunity to throw her off her high horse, and coincidentally, her Easter bonnet does not arrive on time for the competition. Two men who are in love with Tonia fight in a race to buy her a new bonnet and return in time for Tonia to make her entrance at the Easter Sunday service.

The two men nearly kill one another to see who can bring back the prize to win Tonia’s heart.

Tonia then has to choose between the two bonnets and the men who have proven their love to her.

Fourth year hearing and speech pathology major, Jenna Jalowiec, attended the performance and expressed positive feedback.

“A great story with the perfect mixture of love, wit, and competition,” she said. “The music department did an amazing job with the musical and I hope to see more of their performances in the future.”

Act two focuses on Tonia’s two friends that she competes with, Leta and Shanice.

Leta is an intelligent lover of poetry who falls for a young New York City thug who can’t seem to find his way out of trouble.

Shanice is on a hunt to find a man who will shower her in expensive jewelry and believes she finds that when she meets Ben, a Jewish man whose family owns a high-end jewelry store.

However, Ben is not as generous as Shanice would prefer. The musical ends with an expensive necklace that goes missing, and Leta’s lover is questioned.

Cast member Sarah Diamond is a forth-year music electives major with minors in business and music history.

“I think Robert Maggio and Matt Hardy did a wonderful job on this show,” she said. “Being able to premier it is a huge honor and working on it has been a great experience. The entire cast has put in many hours of practice, and in the end, it all paid off.”

If any student would like more information about music department news or upcoming musicals in the follow their Facebook page, West Chester University Opera Theatre.

Devin Gerber is a fourth-year student majoring in communication studies with a minor in journalism. Contact the at

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *