Queen’s Students on Broadway hit ‘Home’

Student musical is a heartfelt exploration of roots

Eloise grapples with her loneliness and isolation in Harmless Little Home.
Photos supplied by Studio Q

From March 22-25, Queen’s Students on Broadway’s Harmless Little Home questioned if a person can really return to their roots.

The musical introduces Eloise, a city lawyer suffering from homesickness, who moves back to her small hometown in Prince Edward Island with her live-in partner Luke. However, after trading in a high-rise for a house in the woods, she continues to feel directionless and lonely.  

Once back in her hometown, Eloise, played by Delaney Lathigee, runs into her old friends and gets reacquainted with an old boyfriend from her high school.

Reminders of the past leave Eloise feeling unsettled, telling the protagonist her return may not be the solution to her dissatisfaction. The problems she once had with her town resurface and she realizes her loneliness isn’t so much caused by the location as it is by herself. 

Eloise is ill no matter where she goes — a feeling that intensifies when she’s changed too much to feel at home with her old friends. 

These scenes in P.E.I. showcased the rest of the cast who sang more than spoke and whose skilled portrayal of well-meaning townspeople allowed the play to focus on developing Eloise’s character. 

A clear highlight of Harmless Little Home this weekend was Lathigee’s outstanding performance. Lathigee grounded her character’s sudden departure from the city, making for a realistic depiction of a person making sense of her career and life. Both her acting and singing captured Eloise’s distress while avoiding melodrama.  

Meanwhile, Brandon Lee’s Luke reliably delivered strong comic relief. He helped move the story forward by encouraging Eloise’s decision, all while remaining aloof and slightly clueless. Their eventual breakup — when she moves back to her hometown and he remains in P.E.I. — solidified the characters as authentic, evolving people. 

The break-up and her return to the city made the ending, which left Eloise’s sense of home somewhat unresolved and all the more captivating. The audience was left to wonder what Eloise was searching for. 

Town life continued normally in her absence and Eloise’s unsuccessful return meant she still couldn’t turn back time; she had changed too much to feel at home.

Instead of an overly neat conclusion, the musical’s plot focused on uncertainty and emotional growth. 

This was the main draw, but the cast and set design made it all the more memorable. The limited furniture appears sparse and isolating in Eloise’s apartment, suggesting her problems didn’t stem from her surroundings but rather herself. 

Narrowing the audience’s attention to just a few props and characters allowed the musical to give the focus to an honest and heartfelt character-driven plot.

As a result, Eloise’s concerns began to seem like the only thing in her life — crowding out her boyfriends, family and friends. 

Through the use of staging, the show was able to explore the struggle that Eloise faced of finding meaning while superficially having it all. 

The musical hinged on this successful exploration of its plot and characters. While not a new storyline, Harmless Little Home was an engaging and thought-provoking take on homesickness and adulthood. This success owed a great deal to the performance of leads Lathigee and Lee. 

This musical was comfortable leaving questions unanswered, making growth an ongoing process that could speak to any audience member — no matter where they’re from. 

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