Unplugged moves into 2nd decade


photo by Jake Gold

Matt Lonam, junior, and Gillian Church, sophomore, play a duet together


On June 10, 1994, 30 performers from three schools came together in the Little Theatre to perform 13 acoustic songs under the direction of theater director R.L. Mirabal. It was dubbed Unplugged. On Oct. 10, 2014—20 years later—LBT’s Unplugged was still going strong.

For many student-musicians at LB, Unplugged is an opportunity to showcase their talents, similar to an open mic-style performance.

“I liked Unplugged because I enjoyed an opportunity to share my tunes with the uncultured students of Lake Braddock Secondary,” junior Josh Porter said.

Due to its easygoing requirements to perform, many students are able to show off their musical ability on stage, which they normally might not be able to do. This opens the doors for many students to try their hand at performing in front of an audience.

“It’s an opportunity for anyone to try their best and perform in front of a crowd. You can be a vet or you can be a first timer, it doesn’t matter. It’s open to anyone who tries out,” junior Liam Kelly said. “It’s accepting of all musical genres and styles.”

With the aid of his guitar, Kelly performed two songs on his own, one cover and one original piece. His first song was “Drown” by Front Porch Step. His second piece, an original, was entitled “Maggots.”

“I chose them because they’re really fun to play, and one of them was an original,” Kelly said. “I wanted to see how it would be received.”

Kelly’s songs, as well as the other performers’, were received excellently. However, the music wasn’t the only aspect of the show admired by the audience. Mirabal, as well as the other performers, often cracked jokes between acts.

“Although Unplugged was an event well worth the showcase of every performer’s musical talent, I enjoyed the comedic aspect of it most of all,” junior Breese Sherman said.

In addition to being enjoyed by the audience, the Unplugged performers enjoyed themselves as well.

“Everybody is really supportive,” Kelly said. “There’s a real atmosphere of cooperation, and everybody likes listening to everybody else. It’s a great environment for newer performers.”

One highlight of the show was watching Mirabal perform “One” by U2 and “Polly” by Kurt Cobain alongside senior Liam Finn. “Polly,” written in the same era as the first Unplugged, resurfaced Mirabal’s memories about Kurt Cobain’s suicide.

“I was brought back to 20 years ago when kids at LB worshipped Kurt like a hero and were crushed by his death. It moved a lot of kids to open up and discuss what was going on in their lives back then,” Mirabal said. “So, it was perfect for Liam and I to make sure it got performed 20 years later.”

While reminiscing about the original show, Mirabal told the audience that the administration rescheduled the first Unplugged because they could not get a police presence.

“By the third song of them standing in the area in front of the stage,” Mirabal said. “The police got bored and left…[to catch] the basketball game.”