1: Ocean O’Connel Rosenberg

A Series By: L Firstenberg


Ride the Cyclone is a musical about a choir of 6 kids that pass away in a roller coaster accident. Karnak and a robotic fortune teller that can predict anyone’s death, even his own, has the power to save one life. Knowing he is to die soon he uses the opportunity to have the 6 teens fight for who lives through a unanimous vote. Karnak uses his power to change the rules of the “game” and how the kids view their lives. I encourage all theater lovers to take a look at the beautiful projection used to portray the story, interesting morals, acting, and singing. 

Ocean O’Connell Rosenberg, Cancer, The ambitious nature. Coming from a family of hippies she felt very out of place and spent lots of time trying to get out of her small town. She is the over-achieving soprano 1 in the choir. Debate, straight A’s, choir, and an aspiring politician. She thinks that she is the one who deserves to live beyond the cyclone accident which comes out in contradictory, rude, condescending, and angry signs.

Her catchphrase, “democracy rocks,” is significant because she spends a lot of time on the fact that they get to vote unanimously for who lives. Karnak and Ocean have back-and-forths about the rules that continue to frustrate her.  She is angry at Karnak because in her eyes she is the best choice. This is the opposite of her catchphrase and makes the conflict between her and Karnak contradictory. She thinks democracy rocks, but not when it affects her. 

Ocean’s song “What the World Needs” is the first character song. It expresses how she is the best in the choir and she is going to be the most successful person. She puts down every other member of the choir to get ahead. She calls them names and predicts that they are future failures. After the song, Karnak explains that the survivor is brought back through a unanimous vote of the choir members. She tries her best to save herself and fails so miserably that now, no one in the choir would vote for her. This completely flips her view of the game because she originally thought she would be the most valuable life to save. 

She continuously looks down on other characters’ decisions “quote about Noel and Mischa voting for each other” She takes this very literally. They know they cannot vote for each other in the end, and this sweet moment gets interrupted by her anguish about the situation she is put in. This stress she is giving to herself is close to the stress she gave herself in real life. She spent her whole life working for a future she never got to have. It shows that getting ahead in life isn’t always worth it. 

She Makes a homophobic comment to Noel as well, “You challenged my preconceived notion that all gay dudes are fun to be around.” From this, we establish that Noel and Ocean have some previous tension with each other. Noel even calls her a succubus when she tries to sing another song about how much she loves everyone. She enforces a harmful stereotype that gay men and women are supposed to be friends. In reality, Ocean is a terrible person that no one wants to be friends with. Even though she is talented it isn’t enough to cover up her bad personality and twisted ideology about the people around her. 

One theory surrounding Ride the Cyclone is that all of the characters exhibit a different stage of grief culminating in acceptance for all. Ocean exhibits anger, she is frustrated that her life has culminated into nothing. She is jealous of Constance, her best friend, who rather enjoyed life as she could. She says,  “Y’know I envy you… No, I do, I mean, I got straight A’s since grade one. I was working towards something, I was building a life And you were satisfied doing nothing. Baking cupcakes, eating them.” The way she says this is extremely condescending and feels less like lining up for a normal life and more like she is looking down on Constance for her lack of hard work. She belittles her achievements and comments on her eating habits. She says she spent her life eating cupcakes. Constance is worth more than that and her best friend fails to realize it. Even when Constance brings up the grief she feels over her death saying, “My death has affected me a lot.” Then Ocean doesn’t listen to Constance and assumes that she is talking about her own death, “Of course, my death has affected you.” This is the absolute height of Ocean’s bad manners. We then feel a sweet relief when she is punched in the boob. This results in Constance singing her song which she has saved for later. After Constance’s song not only can the friend reconcile but Ocean learns about empathy. 

At the beginning of the show, Karnak says, “…the one who wants to win it the most will redeem the loser.” Ocean has no idea what that means until it is time to make a decision and she has the choice to vote for herself and live, or change. She realizes Karnak had set this up on purpose because he knew she could never vote for herself if she was able to see everyone else’s lives and dreams. She by far has the largest development, because she went from selfish to selfless. In the beginning, she mentions “I was just trying to prove I was a good person!” We don’t believe she can as an audience until she develops and can learn from the other choir members what being kind really means. She was able to accept her life for what it was and make a powerful decision to prove that she was a good person. 

My Favorite Quote: 

“I made no attempt to get to know any of you in life. Not even my best friend, in any real way. It turns out, it’s too bad for me because all of you are freaking rockstars.”

Funniest quote: 

“Master of Judaism and Catholicism, nailed my confirmation and Bat Mitzvah and I am not even bragging about that because it is against Buddhist beliefs”