The Tribune Democrat, Johnstown, PA


February 10, 2013

Curtains rising | Students in region rehearsing for high school musicals, plays


North Star

“Once Upon a Mattress”

In this tweaking of the fairy tale, “The Princess and the Pea” by Hans Christian Andersen, Queen Aggravain has ruled that none may marry until her son, Prince Dauntless, marries, but she has managed to sabotage every princess that comes along.

When Sir Harry and Lady Larken learn that they are going to be parents, wed or not, he goes off to the swamps and brings back Princess Winnifred, Fred to her friends.

The queen is horrified and immediately begins to scheme, but Winnifred gets some help from Sir Harry, the King and the Jester.

“Once again this year, our artistic and talented students offer this year’s production to the public. We look forward to the North Star and surrounding communities attending our performances and enjoying the great show.”

Kathy Shaffer, producer

Purchase Line

“Guys & Dolls”

This musical set in Damon Runyon’s mythical New York City features nightclub performers and gamblers, including Nathan Detroit, who is always desperate to find a spot for his infamous floating dice game.

“Guys and Dolls” is based on stories and characters by Damon Runyon.

The music and lyrics were written by Frank Loesser, and the book was written by Jo Swerling and Abe Burrows.  

“Our musicals have a reputation for being a captivating experience for all involved, and this year’s production of “Guys and Dolls” is no exception.

“The gangsters are perfecting their Brooklyn accents, the Hot Box Dancers are tirelessly practicing their kicks and the  singers will be ending everything on a high note.

“We hope to give everyone our usual flair at Purchase Line for effect, music, drama and entertainment.”

 Rebecca L. Bracken, cast director


“On the Town”

 This musical is the story of three American sailors on a 24-hour leave in New York City during wartime 1944.

Each of the three sailors becomes enamored of a particular woman and the city itself.

“On the Town” was the brainchild of Oliver Smith, who was impressed with American choreographer Jerome Robbins’ 1944 ballet “Fancy Free.”

The musical by Leonard Bernstein introduced several popular and classic songs, including “New York, New York,” “Lonely Town,” “I Can Cook, Too” and “Some Other Time,” as well as the famed Coney Island Ballet.

When it opened in the 1940s, The New York Times praised the show as “the freshest and most engaging musical show to come this way since the golden days of ‘Oklahoma.’ ”

“The show is not performed often because it needs exceptional comedic singer-actors, a large orchestra and skilled dancers to handle the eight dance scenes.

“We are expecting our students to not only sing and act, but to grow as actors and dancers as they learn this historic piece. Many schools do not offer the level of music, acting and dance training needed to mount this production.

“The show was written by young people to be performed by young people.”

Scott D. Miller, director

“Our production of ‘On the Town’ will demonstrate the high level of musical theater our students will perform in this classic musical.”

 Jerrod Cannistraci, musical director, conductor

 “The work is not only one of the most complex dance features in the history of Broadway, it also is a great score for our orchestra. The music reveals how Bernstein borrowed sounds of jazz as well as influences from many of the great composers of classical music in the 20th century.”

Kim Rauch, musical producer

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Tackling the area's drug problem.
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