Even Sander Cohen would be impressed
I love video games and I love musical theatre. There aren’t a ton of crossovers out there (except for starkid‘s musical parody of The Oregon Trailor Chorus: a video game musical developed by Summerfall Studios), but there’s a new, unofficial musical that loosely follows the plot of BioShock, created and performed by John Burroughs High School Powerhouse Choir of California (via Eurogamer). The students presented the performance at the 2022 Hart Encore Choir Show, where the group took home the biggest awards of the day: Musicianship, Showmanship, Best Soloist and of course, first place overall.
All of the game’s major players are featured, like Andrew Ryan, Brigid Tenenbaum, and the highly esteemed Sander Cohen. It’s a little hard to hear the performers on the video at times due to the deafening cheers from the crowd – I sure can’t fault them on that front – but the songs they sing seem to be versions of classics with lyrics. rewritten to match the theme and the story they want to tell, like Proud Mary sang with the new lyrics “rolling under water”, for example. Gotta love some clever puns.
As someone who was involved in many mediocre high school musical and choral productions in my day, I would have died to have something so cool and with so much production value. I doubt many people in the audience knew what the production was referring to, but as a huge fan of the BioShock series and as someone who’s also been in a show choir (no big deal or anything, but I was a dance captain) I can say with certainty that they nailed both the BioShock-ness and performance.
It might sound easy, but having so much choreography, costumes, sets, and general finishing for a performance like this takes months of hard work to perfect. Of course you JBHS, you deserve all your success and more.