'It was that good'

| 23 Feb 2012 | 03:40

    Well, director Stacy Hintze has done it again. I didn’t think it was possible, but she, her cast, crew, musicians and production team crafted yet another magical theatrical experience that has absolutely no business being called simply “a high school musical.” Really, it was that good! I saw the Monroe-Woodbury High School musical “Hairspray” this weekend, and was once again totally blown away by the whole production. The entire cast was spectacular, headed by Lissette Kortright, who is just a force of nature, along with the always hysterical Carl Storckman, and so many other talented players like Andrew Beadle, Meredith O’Brien, Olivia Melendez, Lilly Kulak, Andy Petrilak, D.J Skinner, Jacqueline Charlot, Jacob Centra, and Julia Morales, who shook the rafters with her Motormouth solos, followed by the thunderous applause of the appreciative audience. The standing ovations by the sellout crowds at the end of each show speak for themselves. And the backup singing trio of Tara Donnolly, Maureen Murray, and Daisy Epple hit all the right notes with their perfect harmonies. To mention all of the outstanding performances I saw, I’d need to retype the entire first half-dozen pages of the program, and there’s just not that kind of room here. Suffice it to say, the players were ALL wonderful. And they were ably supported by Ms. Hintze in numerous roles; musical director David Crone; tech director Rick Cronk; production team members Mary Turner, Liz Stevenson, and Jesssica Mertens; choreographer Sue Lennon; pit conductor Rick Regan; lighting and sound supervisor Tom Earl; stage manager Heather Young, and costume assistant Tara Fragiacomo. Of course, it would not have been possible without the top notch work of the student members of the stage and tech crews, as well as the professional sounding student orchestra. I know - he does go on. But as a supporter of the arts in Monroe-Woodbury, I must. With school budgets throughout the state in dire straights this year, it is vital for all of us to show our support for the overarching value of arts in education. Former Secretary of Education Richard Riley has observed: “I have long believed in the important role that music and the arts can play in helping students learn, achieve, and succeed. Education in theatre, dance, and the visual arts is one of the most creative ways we have to find the gold that is buried just beneath the surface. They (children) have an enthusiasm for life, a spark of creativity and vivid imagination that need training — training that prepares them to become confident young men and women.” I hope that our wonderful music, theater and arts programs will continue to garner the deserved support of our Board of Education and the entire community at large. And I also expect that some of the talented cast members I saw last weekend will apply for the available local performing arts scholarships, such as the Souza scholarships. If we’re lucky, they might even perform in future Souza Scholarship productions. Sincerely, Bob Curtis, chairman The Souza Scholarship for the Performing Arts