The Philadelphia Story

Louis Baser and Isabel Braico pose in costume before their performance in The Philadelphia Story

Lauren Vaculik

Louis Baser and Isabel Braico pose in costume before their performance in The Philadelphia Story

Sophia Bruozas, Staff Writer

Lincoln-Way Central’s cast of The Philadelphia Story captured the audience’s attention with their stunning performance of this play. The show tells the story of a socialite who delays her wedding to her fiancé because of the complicated she feelings has for her ex-husband and an admirable tabloid magazine journalist. Tracy, the socialite, finds herself torn between the three men and the scandals that surround her family life. Brought on by the arrival of expectant wedding guests at her home, she eventually decides to remarry her ex-husband presenting a comedy of remarrying, a popular theme in the 1930’s and 40’s. These young actors and actresses worked hard to earn their outstanding roles in the winter play. I had the opportunity to speak with two leading stars of the play about their experience in the spotlight.  

Isabel Braico and Louis Baser found their inspiration to join theater from different sources. Isabel claims her older sister motivated her to try out for plays and musicals in high school, while Louis says that the talent show he participated in back at Mokena Intermediate school helped him grow comfortable on the stage. These actors have had an abundance of opportunities to perform in different shows at Lincoln-Way Central. Braico’s favorite play to act in was The Great Gatsby. She is also eager to be singing and dancing in the upcoming Legally Blonde musical. Isabel dreams of one day participating in the show Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf due to her admiration of Martha’s (originally played by Elizabeth Taylor) passionate personality. However, Louis loved acting in the dramatic play of Heaven Can Wait. Louis also enjoyed being the role of Lumiere in Beauty and the Beast at Curtain Call Theater. Louis hopes to perform in the musical Hades Town that recently debuted in London. Baser is a fan of Greek Mythology and likes the interesting music involved.  

Acting on stage may look easy from the natural abilities these performers share, but the two agree that pre-show jitters is an often occurrence for them. Many actors handle nervousness in various ways. “Listening to Banana Pancakes by Jack Johnson always helps me,” Braico states. On the other hand, Louis relaxes when the cast circles up downstairs and does fun warm ups before the show starts. Performers new to the spotlight may experience stage fright at first. Isabel offers her advice and reveals that she lives by the motto “Use failure to fuel you”. Louis believes in a similar approach. He suggests that remaining confident and not doubting oneself contributes to a person having a more enjoyable time on stage. It is always good to have an idol to look up to and strive to be. For Braico, she appreciates actress Kirsten Dunst’s versatility to shine in various roles. Louis praises actor Jonathan Groff’s captivating voice.  

Theater comes with challenging roles, but it can be mastered with determination. Some tips Braico and Baser shared are to first practice reciting lines with others so one can be comfortable with their lines and then developing a character from it. It is beneficial to bring out emotions a character needs to express by recollecting memories from one’s life where they felt that specific emotion. Actors will find their methods as they grow and adapt to changing roles. The two believe it is easier to play a different person onstage rather than themselves. Baser’s character Uncle Willie was an eccentric elderly man who was self-assured and like Louis’s true personality in ways, despite the large age gap. Whereas, Braico’s character Tracy Lord depicted an indecisive, funny, and yet empowering spirit that reflects her own.  

As college approaches, the co-stars look forward to their senior year. Braico is ready to take on more ambitious roles with her friends like Louis at her side. Baser is concentrating on figuring out what college to attend, but still having fun without being overwhelmed. The field of acting hangs in the distant future, but the friends do not want to pursue a career in theater or film. Both of their academic interests lie elsewhere but they will never forget the impact theater has made in their lives.