Lagniappe-Potpourri returns to auditoriums this year

New Trier variety show makes its come-back after a year online



Student actors run through dress rehearsals before the premiere of Lagniappe

 Last week the anticipated Lagniappe-Potpourri, a yearly Trevian variety show completely written and directed by students, opened to sold out audiences. 

This year’s theme, “Look at us Now,” was a nod to last year’s filmed production due to COVID-19 protocol. The show premiered Tuesday Sept. 21, and ran  through Sept. 23.  

The transition from remote to in-person this year was long awaited, but challenging. Due to the Delta Variant, performers were still expected to wear face coverings during the entire show. Senior Ethan Hoffman, co-producer of the show, had first-hand experience in overcoming challenges like these. 

“The masks kind of forced the actors to make sure that the facial expressions were at the top of their game, because with the masks, you can’t tell who’s singing, or who’s talking,” says Hoffman.

Masks weren’t the only barrier the writers had to go through, especially after becoming accustomed to the leniency of an online platform. 

The actors had become so used to not having an audience that once they were on stage with one they all had such bright smiles and so much energy

— Elizabeth Payne

“We definitely had to adjust in terms of planning, because last year there was so much flexibility with filming to get it done. We had to move at a faster rate,” says Hoffman. 

Issues with adjusting to the new platform did not stop performers from enjoying the show, according to Senior Elizabeth Payne, the other Co-Producer of Lagniappe. 

“[The actors] had become so used to not having an audience that once they were on stage with one they all had such bright smiles and so much energy,” says Payne.

Junior Tiger Lee, an actor in the production this year and last year, felt the same energy from the live performances. 

“The sense of community created when you’re with a group in person doesn’t compare to the isolation felt even over zoom.”

Like previous years, the show contained numerous songs, dances, and skits that highlighted the relatable experiences shared by most students. Skits like Romeo and Juliet, Bean Team Blues, and New Trier: Outwit Outplay Outlast referenced themes, like the natural rivalry with Loyola, or the difficulties many new students face when navigating the school. 

Small skits like Disinfectant Wipes and Ruvna poked fun at the many aspects of school that have changed since 2020.  

The writing process began in the early spring and ended in late May of 2020, before the school year had even started. This gave the writers the opportunity to write about their feelings of the previous school year. 

“We chose the name Look at us Now because we felt it reflected where we have all been in relation to COVID but also in high school as a whole. For the seniors especially, we felt this name was a chance for them to feel proud of the work they have done, and also have a chance to reflect on how far they have come,” says Payne. 

Many members of production agreed that the best part of the show was seeing the final product after months of hard work. 

“I am most proud of how seamlessly the cast, crew, and band were able to work together. Every member of the company was so eager to have an amazing performance and have fun in general and I think that really translated to the audience. They all work so incredibly hard and I am so proud of everyone,” says Payne.