It’s the time of year again when local high school students have the opportunity to shine on the stage while presenting musicals.
Here is what schools in the area have planned for the 2019 musical season:
ALBERT GALLATIN HIGH SCHOOL
When: 7 p.m. March 28-30, 1 p.m. March 30 and 3 p.m. March 31
Tickets: May be purchased from cast members and public tickets sale date will be announced on the school website.
Director Toby Maykuth said he chose this show because many of the seniors were in this show as elementary students the last time it was done.
“I felt we had a group that could perform the roles very solidly and effectively,” he said. “This show challenges the students to work especially hard in acting and playing a character since there are no human beings and they are living in a fantastical world of which most people are familiar.”
Some highlights are the big numbers like the curtain call, “Green Eggs and Ham” and “Oh the Thinks you can Think.”
The cast includes: James Garrett Brown as the Cat in the Hat, Adam Drabish as Horton the Elephant, Alaina Shaffer as Mayzie LaBird, Hanna Trump as Gertrude McFuzz, Jacob Holt as Mayor of Whoville and Kimberly Trump as Mrs. Mayor.
BELLE VERNON AREA HIGH SCHOOL
When: 7:30 p.m. March 14-16 and 2:30 p.m March 17
Admission: $15 for adults and $7 for students
Tickets: bvabroadway.com, 724-808-2500 x 2173 or at the door
“Last year the show was playing in Pittsburgh and I went to see it,” said Director Michael Rozell. “I walked out and said ‘I need to do this show.’”
It’s a beautiful show. It’s fun, funny, sad, heartwarming — all emotions wrapped up in one,” he said. “It’s a fantasy with a giant, a mermaid and a werewolf. It’s a story about a storyteller, Edward Bloom, and it goes between current time and flashbacks of Bloom’s stories that he’s told throughout his life and his son trying to make sense of it all.”
Gabrielle Reed and Anderson Stairs will both star in the show.
Rozell said some highlights will include the witch’s dance and the scenes with the giant.
“There’s a western showdown with a pretty cool company number and the ending of the show is great,” he added.
CHARLEROI AREA HIGH SCHOOL
“Peter Pan — A Musical Adventure”
When: 7 p.m. March 1-2 and 2 p.m. March 3
Tickets: Auditorium lobby from noon to 5 p.m. Feb. 23 and 5:30-7:30 p.m. Feb. 25-Feb. 28 and at the door the day of the performance.
Get ready for a show that is familiar and different all at the same time.
Director Melissa Vitali said this is not the traditional “Peter Pan” show that everyone knows, but they chose it “because it’s a wonderful story and we felt that it is a perfect vehicle to show off our students talents.”
They have a very large cast this year - 75 students spanning grades 4-12.
“Our staff also enjoys being able to showcase not only the students on stage but those off stage as well,” Vitali said. “Our set is made almost entirely by our students and includes a giant pirate ship, and at one point you will actually see sets moving with cast members on them.”
She added that the songs will most likely be new to the audience but they will leave singing songs like, “Manners” and “Home Sweet Home”
The cast list includes: Adri Kondratowicz as Wendy Darling, Ryleigh Simala as John Darling, Alexander Friend as Michael Darling, Emily Bittner as Peter Pan, Khayla Powell as Captain Hook and Peyton Trollinger as Smee.
CONNELLSVILLE AREA HIGH SCHOOL
“Les Miserables School Edition”
When: 7 p.m. Feb. 28 and March 1 and 2; 2 p.m. March 3
Admission: $10 (Feb. 28) $12 (all other performances)
Tickets: Box office 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tuesday-Thursday unless school is cancelled, and 10 a.m. to noon Saturdays, and the day of performances.
“This show has it all,” said Director Michelle Harbaugh. “Many of the students love this musical and really wanted to do it this year and it has many leading, supporting and ensemble roles which provide stage experience for all of our students.”
She added that the technical aspects also provide the crews interesting challenges and tasks.
“After we announced ‘Les Mis,’ I found out that many community members love this musical,” Harbaugh said. “I have talked to and received emails from friends who have thanked me for picking this one. I think it is the beautiful songs and dramatic story line that thrills so many people.”
Some highlights include the beautiful songs, costumes, sets and the dance numbers.
Familiar songs that are favorites from the show include: “Castle on a Cloud,” “I Dreamed a Dream,” “Bring Him Home,” “On My Own” and “A Heart Full of Love.”
“The community always comes out in support of the students,” Harbaugh said. “I believe that is another highlight of our shows - the sense of community and support of our students and love of musical theater.”
Leads include: Parker Carte as Jean Valjean, Bobby McLuckey as Javert, Olivia Dixon as Fantine, Joshua Brady as Marius, Riley Artis as Cosette, Taylor Cable as Eponine, Anthony Pouliot as Thenardier, Valerie Bowman as Madame Thenardier, Dayton Nicholas as Enjolras and Jed Fullem as Gavroche.
GEIBEL CATHOLIC JUNIOR-SENIOR HIGH SCHOOL
When: 7 p.m. March 29-30 and 2 p.m. March 31
Where: State Theatre Center for the Arts in Uniontown
Tickets: The State Theatre Box Office or by calling 724-439-1360
“I’ve wanted to do this show for the past 20 years - it’s just one of my favorite shows,” said Director Nick Bell. “They just opened up the rights for it in April, and I had it secured that day.”
Audiences can enjoy familiar numbers such as “Dancing Queen,” “Winner Takes it All” and other ABBA favorites.
“There are a lot of exciting song and dance numbers in the show that I think audiences will enjoy,” Bell said. “Our choreographer John Wagner does a phenomenal job.”
Nina Alvarez will take on the role of Donna and Echo Shaffer will play her daughter Sophie. Other leads include: Morgan Motycki as Tonya, Mary Behanna as Rosie, Ryan Rusko as Sam, Dillon Graham as Harry, Isaiah Krizner as Bill and Cole Kendall as Sky.
LAUREL HIGHLANDS SENIOR HIGH SCHOOL
When: 7 p.m. March 8-9 and 2 p.m. March 10
Tickets: laurelhighlandspac.com or 724-880-9500
Over 70 students will take to the stage in this production of “Newsies.”
“We knew we had a really talented cast of singers and dancers and we wanted to do something to highlight both,” said Director Nicole Bota “It’s a fun show, and we wanted to do something fun.”
The leads include: Emile Glad as Jack Kelly, Isabella Leonardo as Katherine Plumber, Hannah Stefancin as Medda Larkin, Alex Henney as Joseph Pulitzer, Cody Long as Crutchie, Brendan Kopich as Davey and Emma Miller as Les.
Some of the songs featured will be “Santa Fe,” “Carrying the Banner,” “Watch What Happens” and “Seize the Day.”
Some highlights are the full cast and large dance numbers.
“The singing is splendid,” she said. “The kids are working so hard, and you can really tell.”
MONESSEN HIGH SCHOOL
When: 7 p.m. March 28-30 and 2 p.m. March 31
Admission: Adult $14, Student (11-18) $12 and Child (10 and under) $10
Students at Monessen High School will be rolling onto the stage with the classic “Grease,” which celebrates its 40th anniversary this year.
Director Hilary Brown said they chose the show because it still relates to high school life today.
“Everyone’s wanting to fit into a group of some kind, and we felt that our students could relate to many of the issues kids of the 1950s and ‘60s experienced in high school,” she said. “Different time period, same issues.”
Brown added that one of the highlights will be having a real “Grease Lightning” car on stage for the show, which is being built by their local Career and Technical Center in Speers.
Some familiar tunes to be performed are “Summer Nights.” “Hopelessly Devoted,” “You’re the One That I Want” and “Beauty School Drop-Out.”
The cast list includes: Olivia Panicucci as Jan, Olivia Peralta as Marty, Milana Sacco as Rizzo, Josh Anderson as Doody, Quenten Zboyovsky as Roger, Charles Mrlack III as Kenickie, Anthony Mauro as Sonny, Madison Popovich as Frenchy, Cammi Kovach as Sandy, Bodie DuBreucq as Danny Zuko and Theresa Wall as Miss Lynch.
RINGGOLD HIGH SCHOOL
“Once On This Island”
When: 7 p.m. March 7-8 and 2 p.m. March 9
Tickets: At the door.
Ringgold High School students will take audiences to the islands with their performance of this little-known musical.
“I hadn’t heard of this musical either, but when I came across it, it just fit the talent we have,” said Director Colleen Tolliver. “It’s real upbeat.”
She added that the musical tells the story of a group of island people — both peasants and the fancy, rich descendents of the French - and how their two worlds meet and collide at times.
“There’s a lot of dance scenes that will be exciting, and our steel band is providing much of the pit music so it will have a real island feel to it,” said Tolliver.
With very little dialogue, the sing-through musical will include such songs as “One Small Girl,” “Discovering Daniel” and “Forever Yours.”
The cast includes Taylor Sevick as Ti Moune, Cole Nickolls as Daniel, Alexandra Magone as Asaka, Sydney Kulsic as Papa Ge, Kylee Pry as Erzulie and Colton Cartwright as Agwe.
UNIONTOWN AREA HIGH SCHOOL
When: 7 p.m. March 21-22
Admission: $10 online and $12 at the door
Wyatt Wilson, band and musical director, said Uniontown Area High School’s production of “Anything Goes” will be an exciting one for audiences.
“We chose the show because we have a lot of talented seniors,” Wilson said. “This show has some good roles and eccentric roles and wanted to give them a chance to show off.”
Abbey Rocks will take on the character of Reno Sweeney who is a very flashy performer in the show, and some of the big dance numbers are led by her. Ryan Lenhart will play Billy Crocker,. Luke Patton will play Moonface Martin and Jaiden Holmes will take on Hope Harcourt.
“’Blow Gabriel Blow’ is one of the biggest musical numbers in the show and will definitely be one of the highlights,” said Wilson.
Other numbers in the show include, “Anything Goes,” “I Get a Kick Out of You” and “It’s De-Lovely”
Wilson and Director Chuck Durso said they are very excited about the show because its a very dance-focused show and the students are getting to do a lot of challenging choreography.
WAYNESBURG CENTRAL HIGH SCHOOL
When: 7 p.m. April 4-6 and 2 p.m. April 7
Admission: $12 for adults and $7 for students
Tickets: 724-852-1050 or at the door
Director Doug Bland said they have been anticipating the release of “Mamma Mia” for years, so as soon as it was released, they applied for the rights.
“We were so excited when were received the notification, that I immediately sent our security deposit to New York - and the process began,” he said.
Costumer Dianne Toothman recently visited New York and and “purchased outrageous material for our lead’s costumes,” said Bland. “She has been working diligently for the past few months.”
The Greene County Career & Technology Center is building the set. Students are excited to be learning the songs of “ABBA” including “Super Trouper,” “Mamma Mia” and “Dancing Queen.”
The cast includes: Emma Jones as Donna, Kristen Black as Rosie, Alex Biagini as Tonya, Lila Perroots as Sophie, Abby Jackson as Lisa, Alexis Mason as Ali, Alex Huber as Sam Carmichael, Ethan Maxwell as Harry Bright, Brandon Tretinik as Bill Austin, Kendrick Wesley as Sky and Evan Huber as Eddie.
“We are proud of our theater department and have always been excited about our spring productions, but nothing compares with the excitement that is mounting as were prepare for this experience,” said Bland. “If you love the music of ABBA, this is the show to see this spring. You will leave with a smile on your face.”
YOUGH SENIOR HIGH SCHOOL
“Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat
When: 7:30 p.m. March 29-30 and 2:30 p.m. March 31
Tickets: Email firstname.lastname@example.org or at the door.
Director Tracy Light is happy to bring her favorite show of all time to the Yough Senior High School stage this season.
“I knew we didn’t have enough boys, but I still felt we could pull this off,” she said. “I have strong students who can do whatever I asked them to do.”
The story is based on the “coat of many colors” story of Joseph from the Bible’s Book of Genesis.
Light added that audiences can look forward to an exciting show full of enthusiasm and energy.
“The show has a fantastically strong group of performers involved, and I couldn’t be more proud,” she said.
The cast list includes Alexa Cipra and Molly Landman as narrators, Nolan Franks as Joseph, Tim Berich as Reuben, Azzia Berestecki as Judah, Mallory Flesik as Simeon, Gina Beneccio as Levi, Brandon Keselyak as Asher, Sarah Lucke as Dan, Grace Luikart as Gad, Allison Proctor as Issacher, Shaina Stants as Zebulun and Jasmine Bingaman as Napthali and Teagan Moir as Benjamin.
Some songs that will entertain audiences include “One More Angel In Heaven,” “Caanan Days” and “Benjamin Calypso.”