Senior Spotlight Male: Joe Berardi 
by Simran Kaur, 2018 (posted 2-18-18)

Merrily We Roll Along is a Sondheim musical which takes the audience backwards in time to explain the collapse of a friendship between three best friends—Frank Shepherd, Charley Kringas, and Mary Flynn—who get lost in their journey to success. Joe Berardi, 2018, is currently performing in one of his last shows, Merrily We Roll Along, as Charley Kringas. Berardi performed in many of CHS Drama Club’s productions, such as Nice Work If You Can Get It, Mary Poppins, Radium Girls, Singin’ In The Rain, and She Stoops To Conquer. He is currently undecided on a college, but he intends on pursuing a major in film. When he isn’t doing theater, Berardi can be seen writing stories, music and watching films. If you want to see Berardi take on this difficult show, go see Merrily We Roll Along on March 22, 23, 24 at 7:00pm!

What do you like about Merrily We Roll Along?

I really like how it goes backwards. I think it’s interesting to see how the relationship in the show ends, how it began, and develops over the years. It is a very sad story, but it’s good that it goes in reverse because it if went forward in time, it would be extremely depressing. I like the concept of having a big event happen and then you see how the characters’ actions lead to the event.

Can you connect with any of your character’s personality?

Oh definitely. I’m definitely Charley sometimes. I can sometimes identify with Charley’s short temper. I know it’s a terrible thing to say about myself, but I definitely like to write like she does. I also look at the friendship between Frank and Charley, and I say that’s really the friendship between Thomas and I. We have been best friends since birth. We do everything together and we may get into arguments sometimes, but it’s never something bad and we always resolve our problems. We always end up getting stronger.

Why do you think this show is different from other productions you have done?

I haven’t done a lot of dramas. That’s basically the biggest point. I performed in a lot of comedic roles. I’m always the quirky, fun guy, so it will be interesting to a play a more serious role. I think it will be a nice challenge and will help me grow as a performer.

Why should the audience come see the show?

I think they should come see the show because it’s one of Sondheim's biggest classics. It may have not been on Broadway for long, like Company, but the story and soundtrack is really complex and intricate and catchy. The music is hard to learn but once we get the hang of things, it will sound beautiful.

What will you miss most about CHS Drama?

Definitely the family. As cliche as it is, it really is the most important part of CHS Drama. You spend so much time together that you actually become a family. You can’t find it anywhere else. It’s the place where I can relax and go as crazy as I want. It’s really something special.

How will you use your experience at CHS Drama in the future?

Theater in general has made me a well-rounded person. It made me become a better public speaker and gave me so much confidence in myself. When you put yourself in that most vulnerable state, you feel like you can do anything. I don’t really worry about what people think of me because they have seen me attempt to do cartwheels, singing at the top of my lungs, and making them laugh. I have been able to combine history and literature together to create theater. I’m able to understand different aspects of life and it’s such a magical experience.

What is your dream role?

My dream role… I actually have a couple. I always wanted to be Willy Wonka from Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. I also really want to be Tevye from Fiddler on the Roof. I love “If I Were a Rich Man.” It’s one of my most favorite songs! Tevye would be such a fun character to play. But it would be so funny to play Tevye because he has this build associated with him and I’m a scrawny, red haired kid.