Tis the season...for high school musicals

November 20, 2009
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Tonight, I'll be in the audience at Pike High School taking a decidedly uncritical look at "Guys and Dolls," featuring two of my daughters. I'm a big booster of such productions and I'm thrilled that so many schools remain committed to this, for many, once-in-a-lifetime opportunity (okay, if you get in as a freshman, maybe four-in-a-lifetime opportunity).

It's also a rare opportunity for many members of the audience. Based on what I've seen and experienced, the high school musical is the only time many ticket buyers will be seeing an actual theater production.

My passion for theater and other performing arts was gestated during my time on or near the stage in my high school auditorium. I'm indebted to my high school drama director Maria Iaconangelo and the administrations that allowed her to do her work -- even though they got a bit nervous when they actually saw "Sweet Charity" and grasped what line or work the lead was sorta-kinda in. And I still think about performances by the likes of Jay Craven, George Wetherby, Nancy Ferry and others whose names you wouldn't know if you didn't go to Wildwood High School.

I'm sure many readers of this blog also developed a passion for the arts while participating in high school.

So, as a former Jonathan ("Arsenic and Old Lace"), Captain ("Mr. Roberts"), Kinicke ("Grease"--ugh), and Pepe/Offstage voice of Maria's father AND mother ("West Side Story"), I welcome you to:

a.) Share your own high school memories here, and

b.) Plug your local high school's upcoming production.

Your thoughts?

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  • Full Circle at Chatard
    My son is now a freshman at Bishop Chatard, where I went some 100 years ago -- where I played Mr. Sowerberry (the mortician) in Oliver and one of the barbershop quartet members in The Music Man. My son's considering an audition for the Mayor of Munchkin Town for the spring musical - The Wizard of Oz. God help us all!
  • High school musical memories
    As an alumni of North Central High School, I have great memories of the excellent theater and music programs. One of the most memorable was our production of Peter Pan. NC hired an out-of-state production company to come in and rig the flying characters. It was awesome. Every night was standing room only. I was honored to be a part of it..as a pirate..arrgh, matey.
  • Started theater in 4th grade
    Had a great 4th grade teacher, who taught his students Macbeth (a witch) at Edgewood Elementary (Perry Twp); then Greenwood High School with the The King and I (a wife of the king); Carousel (Louise); then back to Shakespeare with Romeo and Juliet (Lady Capulet). Combine that with a college history major/art minor, all parleyed into a career path in museums. What a fun trip down Memory Lane!

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