It’s the time of year again when local high school students have the opportunity to shine on the stage while presenting musicals and plays. Here is what schools in the area have planned for the 2017 musical and play season.

Albert Gallatin High School

“Bye Bye Birdie”

When: 7 p.m. March 31 and April 1; 1 p.m. April 1; 3 p.m. April 2

Where: Auditorium

Admission: $10

Tickets: Available at the door or from any cast member

Teen heartthrob Conrad Birdie is about to be inducted into the army, pompadour and all. But first he will give one final performance on the “Ed Sullivan Show” and one big kiss to a lucky teenage fan.

Conrad (Dylan Berkshire) and his songwriter Albert Peterson (Noah Hintz) turn a mid-western town upside down when they show up to select the special fan, 16-year-old Kim McAfee (Maria Gresh) of Sweet Apple, Ohio.

Directors Joe Andria and Toby Maykuth chose “Bye Bye Birdie” as the musical this year because it seemed like a great fit.

“This show was selected because it fit the specific talent make-up of our student base. It is also a show that both directors enjoy because it’s family-friendly and fun for audiences,” said Andria.

Set in the 1960s, the Tony Award winning ‘Birdie’ is a musical and book by Michael Stewart, featuring music and lyrics by Charles Strouse and Lee Adams.

Among the memorable production numbers are “How Lovely To Be a Woman,” “Put on a Happy Face,” “One Last Kiss,” “A Lot of Living to Do” and “Bye Bye Birdie.”

“This show offers great music, fun and a variety of characters that gives every audience member a chance to relate. The interwoven, farcical storylines create the humor which drives the show,” said Andria.

The twists and turns of “Bye Bye Birdie” are very character driven according to Andria.

“The highlights of the show are the ways in which each of the characters interacts with the show’s title character, Conrad Birdie. Not all fans, the relationships among characters are all driven by their strong, not always positive, feelings for Birdie,” he said.

‘Birdie’ also features student performers Bailey Holt as Rosie Alvarez, Daniel Nuttall as Harry MacAfee, Leah Dice as Doris MacAfee and Caleigh Hitchcock as Mae Peterson

The goal of the show is pure entertainment and inspiration for all according to its co-directors.

“Above all, it is always our hope the Albert Gallatin audience is entertained. We also hope that people leave the show impressed with the talent of local youth and inspired that students were able to create a positive and memorable theatrical experience,” Andria said.

Belle Vernon Area High School

“Crazy for You”

When: 7:30 p.m. March 16-18; 2:30 p.m. March 19

Where: Auditorium

Admission: $15

Tickets: bvabroadway.com; 724-808-2500 ext 2173 or at the door

The romantic musical comedy based on the book by Ken Ludwig featuring the 1930’s music of Ira and George Gershwin won a Tony Award for Best Musical in 1992, “Crazy for You” has been called the show that connects generations.

Zany, rich and young New York banker Bobby Child (Gregory Fedor) is sent by his company to Deadrock, Nevada to foreclose on an old, rundown theater. In the small town, Bobby meets and falls for plucky and spunky Polly (Allegra Ochs) but the city slicker doesn’t impress her much, at first. Bobby uses his well-beguiled razzmatazz to win the heart of the hometown girl and save the theater in hilarious fashion.

“My hope is that the audience walks out with their faces hurting from smiling so much, their sides hurting from laughing so much and their hearts filled with the love of all of this nostalgic music,” said Director Michael Rozell.

A score filled with well-known standards sets the musical apart according to Rozell.

“The show is unique because it is made up of all of the popular Gershwin songs. Songs like ‘Someone to Watch Over Me,’ ‘Embraceable You’ and ‘I Got Rhythm’ are among the amazing list of songs in this show,” he said.

In addition to the long list of well-known Gershwin tunes, which also includes “They Can’t Take That Away From Me” and “But Not for Me,” the director chose the musical “Crazy for You” to match another skill-set of the cast.

“The show was selected due to the overwhelming amount of dancers I have,” said Rozell. “The audience will see male and female students doing a lot of tap dancing in addition to other forms of dance.”

Under the dance direction of Choreographer Suzan Zalar, “Crazy for You” offers up something special for the Belle Vernon students.

“One of the highlights of this show will be the tap dancing, including the finale of Act I (I Got Rhythm). It’s one of the largest dance numbers I’ve ever had to stage in a musical,” Rozell said.

Also featured in “Crazy for You” are Joshua Mima as Bela Zangler, Grace LaCarte as Irene and Thomas Huffman as Lank.

Brownsville Area High School

“High School Musical”

When: 7 p.m. April 6-8, 2 p.m. April 9

Where: Auditorium

Admission: $10

Tickets: Call high school office at 724-785-8200

This spring, Brownsville High School students are exploring and breaking high school clichés in the teen drama production of “Disney’s High School Musical.”

“The kids have wanted to do it for a long time,” said director Tricia Rohlf. “We have a pretty young cast. It felt like the time to do this show.”

“The kids were sky-high — there’s a school-wide excitement for this show,” she added. “It’s generated a lot of interest.”

Audiences will join basketball star Troy Bolton (Jake Sproul) and new girl Gabriella Montez (Delaney Harvey) as they maneuver young love and opposing forces like Sharpay and Ryan Evans (Jayda Jones and Andrew Havens) as they try out for their own high school musical.

Through songs like “Stick to the Status Quo,” “Breaking Free” and “Start of Something New,” Troy and Gabriella join their fellow cast of jocks, brainiacs, thespians and skater dudes, finally learning “We’re All In This Together.”

“There’s so much enthusiasm with this show. And I really like the message that kids can break the status quo and stereotypes,” Rohlf said. “The production numbers are so much fun, and the kids are really enjoying them.”

Rohlf joked that by the time the kids are done with “Getcha Head In The Game,” a basketball-heavy jock number, the stage smells like a gym room.

“I’m hoping that this garners a lot of excitement, especially with the new elementary school near us,” Rohlf said. “This type of show embraces younger audiences. I just hope the audience walks away feeling happy.”

Charleroi Area High School

“Into the Woods”

When: 7 p.m. March 3 and 4 and 2 p.m. March 5

Where: Auditorium

Admission: $10 for reserved seats and $5 general admission

Tickets: Noon to 6 p.m. Feb. 25 and at the door the day of the show.

Strong singing and a deep seeded lesson are some of the hallmarks of Charleroi’s musical selection, “Into the Woods” that will be performed 7 p.m. March 3 and 4 and 2 p.m. March 5.

“We actually picked this show because we have a lot of graduating seniors this year who are strong vocalists so we wanted a show that could feature as many of the students as possible,” said assistant director and producer Stacie Cifrulak. “Not all the leads are seniors. We knew in general we had a lot of strong vocalists. We figured this was the year to do it.”

“Into the Woods” features many characters that children will identify with and parents have grown up knowing.

“The show is actually a mashup of fairytales very similar to the television show ‘Once Upon a Time,’ but they are all dealing with their dreams and wishes and it kind of shows how in life what you wish for doesn’t always make you completely happy. Sometimes it can end in a bad situation. The one thing that I think is unique about the show is that after each day in the show each character comes out and states the morals that are in the show,” said Cifrulak. “Act One is an act for all ages, it is a fairy tale mashup and it ends up with a ‘to be continued’ and Act Two doesn’t end up for the best. Act Two does have a dark tone to it but at the same time it has a very valuable message for adults. The last song is ‘Children Will Listen’ and the song is about how adults have to be careful what they say because children will always listen to what you say and they will try to be like you. Even though it is fairy tales it does have a lot of meaning for adults if you look into the dialogue and the songs and the lyrics.”

In addition to the characters and the performances, Cifrulak says the highlights of “Into the Woods” are numerous.

“The highlights of the show are when all the characters are on stage. When it comes more to the sentimental, the last two songs of the show really hit home,” explained Cifrulak. “One of them is actually prior to the finale, ‘No One is Alone.’ I cry when I hear that song. If you actually think about the lyrics I feel like anybody can relate to it. It talks about loss in your life and unfortunately that is something we all have to experience at some point. For me it is a very emotional song, but it is also a very beautiful song.”

In addition to enjoying the performance, Cifrulak hopes that the audience will take away the powerful morals that are presented throughout the musical.

“This is one of those performances that I said the characters are presenting their morals and they have those songs that are powerful it isn’t just about entertainment it is about getting that point across. I would hope the kids would enjoy the fairy tale mashup but I hope adults enjoy that as well and embrace some of the lyrics and that with ‘Children Will Listen’ they will look up to you all the time,” said Cifrulak.

This year’s cast includes Alexa Robbins as Cinderealla, Peyton Trollinger as Jack, Austin Pringle as Baker, Maddie Codeluppi as Baker’s Wife, Emily Bittner as Little Red and Tori Beveridge as The Witch.

The director is Melissa Vitali and the music director is Laura Piecknick.

Connellsville Area High School

Disney’s “Beauty and the Beast”

When: 7 p.m. March 2-4; 2 p.m. March 5

Where: Auditorium

Admission: $10 (March 2) $12 (all other performances)

Tickets: Box office 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tuesday-Thursday, and 10 a.m. to noon Saturdays, and the day of performances.

A tale as old as time enchants the stage in the well known musical “Beauty and the Beast” by Alan Menken stemming from the Academy Award winning animated musical based on the classic French fairy tale by Jeanne-Marie Leprince de Beaumont.

“Beauty and the Beast” tells the familiar story of a cold-hearted prince who has been magically transformed into an unsightly creature as punishment for his selfish ways. To revert back into his true human form, the Beast must first earn the love of the bright, beautiful young Belle, whom he has imprisoned in his enchanted castle before the last rose petal falls.

“This show was selected because it is a high energy show that requires a large cast. We have a large number of students interested in participating in our shows and they really enjoy being in a high energy show,” said Director Michelle Harbaugh.

Leading the very large cast and sharing the role of Belle are Chloe Guie and Sydney Sepkovic, and as the Beast is Jordan Kosisko. Also featured are Bobby McLuckey as Maurice, Anthony Poulliot as Gaston, Dayton Nicholson as Lefou, Travis Sitko as Monsieur D’Arque, Johnny Crocetti as Cogsworth, Parker Carte as Lumiere, Abrianna Colborn as Babette, Angelina Brady as Mrs. Potts, Andrea Mellinger as Chip and Gabby Kitchen as Madame de la Grande Bouche.

A number of things stand out in this production according to its director.

“This show is unique because one, we have a large cast of around 92 high school students on stage as well as an additional 80 students involved with set crew, orchestra, makeup, hair crew and ushers. Two, we are going to have three characters fly during the show. Three, we have all new amazing sets that have been designed specifically for our large stage. And four, costumes which were made by our costume designer, not rented costumes,” Harbaugh said.

In addition to the well-known and enchanting musical number “Be Our Guest,” the musical also features “Belle,” “Gaston,” “Something There,” “Home” and of course, “Beauty and the Beast.”

“The highlight of this show is when the Beast and Belle fall in love and the Beast transforms back into the Prince,” said Harbaugh. “I hope our audience leaves feeling uplifted as well as having a sense of the importance of musical theater in the lives of so many high school students’ education.”

Frazier High School

“The Odd Couple” (female version)

When: 6 p.m. March 9-11; 2 p.m. March 11

Where: Auditorium

Admission: Not yet set

Tickets: Available at the door

In a New York City apartment two unlikely roommates and their friends have gathered for a game night but it’s not just fun, it’s neurotic.

The updated female version of the Neil Simon classic comedy features Florence Unger, recently separated from her spouse and her less than understanding and somewhat slovenly roommate Olive Madison. The two will go on a journey together into divorce, anxiety, redemption and laughter.

Sharing the roles of Olive are Briana Broadwater and Hattie Lindey and playing Florence are Casey Murt and Kenadi Erdley. Also featured are Quinn Whitehead as Manolo, Logan Kulikoski as Manolo, Noah Harvey as Jesus, Sophia Wolinski as Mickey, Sierra Kelly as Renee, Elyse Elliott as Vera and Sydney Varga as Sylvie.

Geibel Catholic Junior-Senior High School

“Sister Act”

When: 7 p.m. March17 and 18 and 2 p.m. March 19

Where: The State Theatre Center for the Arts in downtown Uniontown

Admission: $10

Tickets: The State Theatre Box Office or by calling 724-439-1360.

Students at Geibel Catholic Junior-Senior High School are into the habit of putting on great performances when it comes to musicals. This year that will definitely be the case as they will perform “Sister Act” 7 p.m. March 17 and 18 and 2 p.m. March 19 at The State Theater Center for the Arts in downtown Uniontown.

“The show was selected because it is a high-energy and very fun show and that is the type of students I am lucky to have at Geibel,” said Director Nick Bell.

The musical’s plot is similar to the popular 1992 film starring Whoppi Goldberg where singer Deloris Van Cartier witness a murder and has to be placed in protective custody in a place where no one would think to look for her: a convent.

While undercover as a nun, Van Cartier has a difficult time adjusting to the sisters’ way of life and ends up butting heads with Mother Superior on many occasions.

Will she blow her cover while she tries to breathe new life into the congregation and the community?

“The show is unique because it has not been done by a school in this area and it was just released last year for high schools to perform,” explained Bell. “A highlight of the show are the nuns singing and dancing.”

“I hope the audience leaves the theater with big smiles on their faces and singing the songs,” said Bell.

“Sister Act” will feature Carley Ward as Deloris, Joey Phillippi as Eddie and John Wagner as the performance’s choreographer.

Jefferson-Morgan Middle/Senior High School

“The Addams Family”

When: 7 p.m. April 20-22, 2 p.m. April 22.

Where: Auditorium

Admission: TBD

Tickets: Call the school office at (724) 883-2310

We know they’re creepy, kooky, mysterious and spooky, but students at Jefferson-Morgan Middle/Senior High School will take audience members on a musical adventure to learn much more about the gloomy family in their spring musical production of “The Addams Family.”

Director Scot Moore said they wanted to pick a show that was out of the box, and the popular, new show seemed to fit the bill.

“The kids are really looking forward to it. It’s a good time,” Moore said.

In this original tale, the ghoulish family, including Gomez, Morticia, Uncle Fester and Pugsley, react to Wednesday’s new love Lucas and his “normal” family.

“There’s a lot more music in this compared to other shows. It’s the opposite of what we’ve been doing in the past with more technical stuff,” Moore said.

In particular, Moore said the students playing Gomez and Morticia bring a new life to the spooky couple. Musical numbers like “Full Disclosure,” “Just Around the Corner” and “The Overture” showcase the cast’s talent.

“We’re working with a lot of kids, and I want to give them a chance to experience theater,” Moore said, adding that the roles of the ancestors give many students stage time.

Overall, Moore said he wants the audience to come and enjoy the show, knowing that it’s a cast of high school students who are having a good time.

“I hope they recognize how much fun this is,” he said.

Laurel Highlands Senior High School

Into the Woods”

When: 7 p.m. March 9, 10 and 11

Where: Auditorium

Admission: $12 or $25 for Laurel Highlands School District Academic Foundation dinner theater package

Tickets: The box office at 724-437-4741 ext. 22003 or at the door the day of the performance.

This year the Laurel Highlands Senior High School is inviting audiences to travel deep “Into the Woods” with their musical production that will take place 7 p.m. March 9, 10 and 11.

“We chose ‘Into the Woods’ this year. Obliviously, we had done fairy tales in the past and we have a lot of the costuming we needed and we had a lot of the sets we could use from ‘Cinderella’ last year. We had a lot of what we needed in house,” explained director Lauren Grooves. “Also, we are hosting a band festival three weeks before the show and we needed a set that was easily removable from stage.”

“Into the Woods” can be described as a mashup of some of the most beloved fairy tales from childhood that features the life lesson of be careful what you wish for.

The characters each have a desire that they want fulfilled and they set out on a journey to make it happen.

The baker (Ethan Glad) and his wife (Abby Fleenor) want a child, Cinderella (Lauren Schiffbauer) wants to go to the King’s Festival, Jack (Brendan Kopich) wants his cow to give milk and Little Red Riding Hood (Jamie Spano) is trying to find her way to her Grandmother’s house.

When the baker and his wife find out that a witch (Emily Rohm) has cursed their family, they set out on a journey to reverse the curse.

“The show itself is very difficult with the music involved. I think the highlight is that there is a ton of singing, but my kids have to be pretty excellent musicians to hold a role for this. It isn’t your typical Broadway style song,” said Grooves. “We have a lot of talented students at Laurel Highlands, especially this show. There is singing in it. There is rapping in it, the Witch raps, and the cow is going to be amazing. The cow costume we are getting is going to be from Broadway. A lot of time when people do ‘Into the Woods’ they use a fake cow like a statue.”

Monessen High School

“Rock of Ages”

When: 7 p.m. March 23-25, 1 p.m. March 25.

Where: Auditorium

Admission: $14, Student $12, Children $10

Tickets: Online at https://mhsgpa.booktix.com/.

Audiences in Monessen High School’s spring musical production of “Rock of Ages” will be transported to the Sunset Strip in the prime time of big hair and heavy metal.

“We wanted to choose a play that would be fun for the cast and crew to do,” said director Hillary Brown. “Also, this is the first year for the High School Edition to be open to schools to perform. Monessen High School is one of the first schools in Pennsylvania to premier this show.”

The Samuel French production features a barrage of well-known, pounding metal and rock anthems, including “We’re Not Gonna Take It,” “Wanted Dead or Alive,” “Here I Go Again” and “Anyway You Want It.”

The sounds of Night Ranger, REO Speedwagon, Bon Jovi, Pat Benatar and Poison introduces high school students to the resounding music of the 1980s, while reminding their parents and families of younger years.

“It’s a story that uses 1980’s classic rock hits to portray a unique love story that is sure to captivate and entertain all those who come to watch,” Brown said.

Watch as wannabe rock star Drew (Gabe Leach) and starry-eyed Sherri (Victoria Cooper) follow their dreams of becoming the next big Hollywood thing, like legendary rocker Stacee Jaxx (Jake Francowic). Set in the historic Bourbon Room, the trio fight to protect the legacy of the Strip when German developers threaten its existence with a strip mall.

“This is the most technologically advanced show we have ever done here at Monessen,” she said. “There will be a video projection wall and moving lights and haze like you would find at a live concert.”

Brown said the music is by far the highlight of the show.

“It’s a show to reiterate that dreams can change, people can change and times can change — but music will always have a special place in our hearts,” Brown added.

Mount Pleasant Area High School

“Footloose”

When: 7 p.m. March 23, 24 and 25

Where: Auditorium

Admission: VIP seating are $10 and regular tickets are $7 for adults and $3 for students

Tickets: In advance and at the door the day of the performance

Audiences should get ready to cut loose as Mount Pleasant Area High School performs “Footloose” 7 p.m. March 23, 24 and 25 at the school’s auditorium.

According to Richard Bair, co-director of the performance, “Footloose” was chosen as this year’s show for a number of reasons.

“One of the reasons is it is a favorite of my co-director (Barb Rolla) and it is a payback,” said Bair, because one of his favorite shows “Beauty and the Beast” was performed last year. “It (‘Footloose’) is a crowd pleaser. A lot of people know the music and they are comfortable coming in and enjoying themselves. And the message is good, too.”

“Footloose” tells the story of Ren McCormack (Danny Eveling ), a teenager from Chicago, who moves to the small town of Bomont with his mother, Ethel, Megan Shandel) after his father leaves them.

When Ren arrives, he butts heads with a lot of the residents of the town including the Rev. Shaw Moore (Eric DeSabato) who has convinced the town that dancing is evil and has to be outlawed, and his wife Vi Moore (Mollie Landman).

Joining Ren on his quest to get the ban on dancing lifted is the Reverend’s daughter Ariel (Helena Baumgardner).

“One of the highlights, I hope, of the show will be the relationship development between the two characters,” said Bair. “It is a lot of dancing and singing and people love that, but I want people to really see the relationship developing.”

“We are taking kids that are not dancers and trying to make them that. And for what I understand it is going fairly well,” said Bair.

Ringgold High School

“The Addams Family”

When: 7 p.m. March 2-4, 2 p.m. March 4

Where: Auditorium

Admission: $5

Tickets: On sale at the high school during Saturday rehearsals

Students at Ringgold High School are bringing a well-known ghoulish, kooky to life on stage for their spring musical production of “The Addams Family.”

Director Diane Ader said the show was perfect for their current cast of talented dancers.

“When I select shows, I pick ones that highlight the student talent each year,” Ader said. “This year, this fun show has a lot of great dances, and really highlights our dancers.”

“There aren’t many shows that have a whole lot of tap dancing,” she said. “This one does.”

Numbers like “One Normal Night,” “Happy Sad” and “In The Arms” feature an array of vocals and dances.

“There’s a wide variety of dancing types in this show. And there’s actual dance numbers, not just choreography in lines,” Ader added.

The original, quirky tale follows Gomez (Benjamin Hoffman), Morticia (Tori Sevick), Uncle Fester (Mackenzie ‘Mac’ Miller) and Pugsley (Steven Glaneman), as they react to Wednesday’s (Sydney Seese) new love Lucas (Cole Nickolls) and his “normal” family.

“There’s a lot of unique characters and opportunities provided in the show,” Ader said.

As for what makes the show unique, Ader said it’s simply that the family is well-known for being “creepy and kooky.”

“It’s just a lot of fun,” she said.

Overall, Ader said she hopes the audience comes to the show and “catch the magic of theater through the music and performance.”

Uniontown Area High School

“James and the Giant Peach”

When: 7 p.m. March 16, 17 and 18

Where: Auditorium

Admission: $10

Tickets: Can be purchased online at www.showtix4u.com/boxoffice.php, or by calling the school at 724-439-5000 or purchasing at the door the day of the performance.

Uniontown Area High School will invites audiences to have a peachy time when they perform “James and the Giant Peach” March 16-18 in the high school auditorium.

“Each year as directors, we strive to find an upbeat, fun and modern show for the students to perform. This was a challenging year for us because it seemed like we were never going to find the right show. Everything that we considered was not available, being done somewhere relatively close or it just didn’t feel like the right show for the talent we had. This is mine and my husband’s 10th year directing and we wanted to choose something big and spectacular as a celebration,” explained Megan Cerullo, director and vocal coach. “My sister and I had been doing a ton of research of shows and we had found ourselves in quite a slump. Then it was like a sign, I got an email from Music Theatre International announcing the release of the full version of ‘James and the Giant Peach.’ At the time, I really knew nothing about the story. I mentioned it to my sister and she said, ‘It’s a pretty good story and movie, lets listen to the songs.’ We didn’t even get through the entire Overture before we knew it was the show for us. The music is so fun and upbeat and it tells a wonderful story.”

The musical follows the story of James (Abbey Rocks) who is sent to live with his two aunts, Spiker (Gracie Wilson) and Sponge (Alyssa Rambo). When he ends up chopping down a peach tree in the aunts’ yard, he ends up finding a magical spell book. At the behest of Ladahlord (Alec Basile) James performs a magic spell that makes a peach grow huge as well as a cast of insects including Spider (Ariel Ellington), Grasshopper (Matt Humbert), Ladybug (Kayla Hay), Earthworm (Richard Halbrook) and Centipede (Karleigh Risha). The group then go on many adventures together.

“This show tells a remarkable tale of a young boy and it is filled with a roller coaster of emotions. I hope that the audience leaves with that emotional impact. I also hope that the audience enjoys our version of the story and the way in which it is told with song and intricate dance,” said Cerullo. “I want them to leave talking about how much they enjoyed our production and wanting to come back year after year to see what we will come up with next.”

Joining Cerullo is Justin Cerullo, director and choreographer; Elizabeth Champlin, director and choreographer; and Lori Green, piano accompanist and vocal coach.

Waynesburg Central High School

“Godspell”

When: 7 p.m. March 30-April 2 and 2 p.m. April 2

Admission: $10 adult, $7 student

Tickets: Call the high school office at 724-852-1050

Join the cast of Waynesburg Central High School’s spring musical production of “Godspell” as they travel to the 1970s to tell the biblical tale of the Gospel of Matthew.

Director Doug Bland said they decided on the show after looking for a small ensemble piece.

“Last year with ‘Grease’ we had a huge cast with more than 70 kids,” Bland said. “It was senior-heavy. Knowing that going into this year, we wanted a smaller scale show.”

Bland said he spent much of the fall months working with incoming freshman to have an idea of the musical ability coming to the production, and determined “Godspell” was a good fit.

“We’ve really enjoyed the rock aspect of the musical,” Bland said. “It’s been a good experience so far.”

The Stephen Schwartz musical based on the biblical tale is complete with period numbers like “Day by Day” that received Billboard attention.

Through other numbers including “Prepare Ye The Way of The Lord,” “Save The People” and “By My Side,” an eclectic group similar to the 12 Disciples follows Jesus (Jeromy Mackey) as he spreads his message. Jesus’ life is depicted on stage with the help of John/Judas (Cole Leathers), Jeffrey (Andrew Elsenheimer), Lamar (Zack Yenchik), Herb (Alex Huber) and many others.

The show historically received mixed reception, and has done so within the school district, Bland said.

“The kids are performing a role on stage. We’re not necessarily doing a Bible story — it’s a theater production performed by high school kids, even if there are religious undertones,” Bland said.

“It’s amazing music, and the kids are really enjoying it. I was surprised to see how excited they were getting into production,” he added.

At the end of the day, Bland said he hopes the audience walks away with “ a smile on their face and a step in their toes.”

“There’s nothing like a live stage production. I hope the audience enjoys the aspect of high school theater,” Bland said.

Yough Senior High School

“Seussical the Musical”

When: 7:30 p.m. March 24-25; 2:30 p.m. March 26

Where: Auditorium

Admission: $10

Tickets: Available at the door or email youghdramatickets@gmail.com to reserve

Imagine nearly every children’s book by Dr. Seuss on stage and set to music and you’ll have the inspiration for “Seussical the Musical.”

The musical production by Lynn Ahrens and Stephen Flaherty is a complex amalgamation of Seuss’s most famous stories including “Horton Hears a Who,” “Horton Hatches an Egg,” “Green Eggs and Ham” and “The Cat in the Hat.”

Singing and talking in rhyme is just the energy Director Tracy Kelley was looking for this year.

“We needed something upbeat and fun after the dark show last year. We needed something completely different from ‘Into the Woods.’ ‘Seussical’ has been on our list for a few years but this was finally the right time to do it,” said Kelley.

“This show is so bright and colorful and keeps the audience entertained. The songs are fast and moving for the most part and there’s not a lot of dialogue that slows things down.”

Among the toe-tapping, Seuss-inspired song titles are “Here on Who,” “A Day for the Cat in the Hat,” “Amazing Gertrude,” “How Lucky You Are,” “Mayzie in Palm Beach” and “Oh, the Thinks You Can Think.”

The cast that includes Nolan Franks as the Cat in the Hat, Kyla Denitti as Jojo, Zach Ryckman as Horton, Alexa Cipra as Mayzie and Kaylee Goblesky as Gertrude McFuzz is eager to share the fun according to Kelley.

“The highlight of the show are the kids. They are already having a spectacular time with the show. They have so much excitement and I think that is what is going to come across to the audience,” she said.

In addition to the fun, Seuss’s works also had hidden messages which are not lost in the musical according to Kelley.

“While on the surface the show seems like it’s a kids show, there is actually a deeper message. I’m hoping that the audience picks up on that deeper message. The students have figured it out and I think they are going to work hard to get the audience to see it too,” said Kelley.

Staff writers Tara Rack-Amber and Olivia Goudy, and freelance writer Diana Lasko contributed to this article.

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