SANTA FE, Texas - They say laughter is the best medicine, and that’s exactly what some students at Santa Fe High School managed to deliver during their annual Christmas show this week.
Juniors Gavin Hawk, Jase O’Brien, Max McCaskill and Hunter Ganung spoofed a classic musical scene from the 2004 movie "Mean Girls" starring Lindsay Lohan and Rachel McAdams.
In the movie, four scantily clad high school girls perform a rather inappropriate rendition of "Jingle Bell Rock." By the end, the whole audience in singing with the ladies. This was the Santa Fe students' comedic motivation.
The quartet knew they wanted to perform at Santa Fe’s Christmas Cluster and wanted it to be funny.
“It’s a universal thing to laugh and be happy,” O’Brien said. “We were like, it would be funny if we did it with dudes. Because the dance is really awkward, you know?”
“We were sexy,” they joked. “Come on, look at us, man!”
The guys roped their sophomore friend, Sarah Birkmeyer, in the loop to choreograph then got to work practicing and figuring out their costumes.
“(They) kept pushing for crop tops and the short shorts,” Birkmeyer joked, “and our director had to tell them repeatedly and repeatedly and repeatedly, ‘No. You can't do that.’”
They settled on white T-shirts and red shorts. Then on Tuesday night, they nervously took the stage.
“We knew it was going to be sort of embarrassing,” Hawk said, “but the best way to think about it was, everyone’s going to love it.”
“Right when we came out and started doing the dance, it was like the Super Bowl was happening,” O’Brien said.
The group spoofed the movie scene to the T, dancing, falling, singing and even getting the auditorium filled with 900 people to join in and sing with them.
“I heard all the people start screaming and shouting and hooping and hollering,” McCaskill said, “and it just brought joy to me.”
It's joy to a community that certainly deserves it.
“Especially with Santa Fe now, it’s really important for people to just kind of let go and laugh,” Birkmeyer said. “It’s the first time everybody in the community was there, and they all got to share a laugh. I think it’s really amazing that we got to do that.”
Watching their performance, you wouldn’t guess some of the guys didn’t used to like each other. They say joining theater is what bridged their differences and made them realize how much they all had in common. That is why they encourage anyone looking for friends to join theater, saying it’s often a place to find a diverse and accepting group of people.
You can catch these five Santa Fe High School students in their upcoming musical "Mama Mia." Opening night is Jan. 31, 2019.
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