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Pop-culture musical to be staged in Deltona
By Sally Daykin
posted Feb 17, 2013 - 6:08:55pm
Do you remember the magic of Saturday-morning cartoons? Kids in pj’s plunked happily in front of the TV. Moms and dads catching a few extra minutes of sleep. And it was a win-win for all, because the children were actually learning something through the creative brilliance of amusing, educational programs!
Well, get ready for a trip down memory lane! The Pine Ridge Players at Pine Ridge High School in Deltona are celebrating their new musical-theater program with the children’s pop-culture musical Schoolhouse Rock Live!
Another bonus is the purchase of individual headsets for each actor, thanks to the support of our principal, John Atkinson. To further advance the professional quality we are aiming for, we have brought onboard the local talent of well-known pianist Cynthia Hansen, backed by former student Ashton Gillette on percussion and Lacey Carter on bass.
The talented cast includes Richie Ribar in the lead role of Tom, a brand-new teacher facing his first day of school, thinking, “I don’t know why I’m so nervous this morning.” He is backed by the encouragement of his alter egos George, Dori, Shulie, Joe and Dina. We have expanded the number of our principal actors by doubling the above and having two students play each role.
Danny Knapp, as one of the Joes, has become so inspired by the choreography created by senior Kahiya Fairclough that he has taken on creating the dance routine for his solo piece, the memorable “Conjunction Junction.”
Other talents include Amanda Melito (well-known in the local community-theater arena), Adrean Fike (last seen as one of the hilarious sisters in Murder at Coppersmith Inn), and our troupe president, Annie Sigler.
Sigler said, “I’m so thrilled that for my senior year I get to be in a musical. That’s all that I’ve been begging for since freshman year. I am so proud to be the president of such a talented and true-to-heart troupe. I’m ready for the show to begin!”
Other soloists include Casey McCall, Janie Flippen, Alexus Smith, Lizzy Parsons, Xander Burns and Ezequiel Muriel. They are backed by a pajama-clad ensemble of no-less-talented singers Alexis Bordelon, Destiny Brailsford, Shannon Chaffers, Anaida Echevarria, Jami Masters, Megan McCauly, Emily Pelletier, Jessica Ribot, Angelica Sosa and Caterina Duffy.
However, the unsung talents of a hardworking crew should not be overlooked! They are stage manager Tori Keene, Riley McCall (in charge of costumes), and, working on the set and props, Dean Sepp, Isabelle Nieto, Duncan Stoner and Ashley McCreery.
The idea for the TV series Schoolhouse Rock reads like fiction. In the early 1970s, the original creator, advertising exec David McCall, noticed that one of his sons was having trouble in school remembering the multiplication tables, yet he knew the lyrics to many current rock songs. Jazz composer Bob Dorough took up the challenge and wrote the song “Three Is a Magic Number.” It tested so well that a children’s record was compiled and released.
Next, cartoonist Tom Yohe, inspired by the song, began to doodle pictures to go with the lyrics. All agreed that the songs were perfect material for animation! A phenomenon was born!
The live musical spin-off of the Saturday-morning cartoon has a book by Scott Ferguson, Kyle Hall and George Keating and music and lyrics by Lynn Ahrens, Bob Dorough, Dave Frishberg, Kathy Mandry, George Newall and Tom Yohe.
Nostalgic adults will now be able to share the songs that proved more than educational with the next generation. Remember singing along with “Conjunction Junction”? Exploring the solar system with “Interplanet Janet”? Or getting your first taste of politics with “I’m Just a Bill”? Well, they have stood the test of time.
Don’t miss out! The experience of learning though song, dance and pure fun is even better when it’s live! The multitalented cast and crew have created a show to remember!
Schoolhouse Rock Live! opens at 7 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 28, at Pine Ridge High School, 926 Howland Blvd. in Deltona. Three more performances will follow: Friday, March 1 (7 p.m.), and Saturday, March 2 (2 p.m. matinee and 7 p.m.).
Tickets cost $5 for students and $8 for adults.
For more information, call 386-575-4195, ext. 43619.
— Sally Daykin is director of dramatic arts at Pine Ridge High School in Deltona.
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