Archive for Thursday, February 9, 2006

LHS musical returns after hiatus

February 9, 2006

Perhaps, if they clear it with the counselors, students may be able to get course credit in "How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying" by seeing the musical Lansing High School singers and actors will put on in April.

Jonnie Brice, LHS choral director, hopes the tradition of performing an LHS musical picks up again after a one-year hiatus. In the past, she said, the position of musical director went to an unpaid volunteer. Last year, there were no takers.

Now, the musical's director will be paid, and Brice has taken over that job. Becky Harris, Lansing Middle School band director, will conduct the pit band for the show.

With "How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying," Brice hopes to revive a tradition of musicals and build a program that will continue once the new auditorium is built at the school.

"How to Succeed" is familiar to Brice, though LHS students have never performed the show. Her parents attended the Broadway production during its original run from 1961 through 1965 and bought the soundtrack, she said.

Brice said she picked "How to Succeed" because it involves little dancing and would be feasible to perform on the cramped stage at the Lansing Intermediate School auditorium. It also includes a large cast of about 30 actors onstage and 20 or so behind the scenes.

"And it's a really good show," Brice said.

Auditions for the musical came in the midst of preparing the choirs for the annual Valentine's Day shows and a trip to New York City for a choir festival.

All the goings-on require Brice to perform a delicate balancing act with rehearsals, planning and spending time with her family. Luckily for her, her husband takes good care of household chores during the busy season.

"I can't remember the last time I cooked a meal, let's put it that way," she said.

But Brice isn't the only one involved in the musical who has a full schedule - she'll have to plan rehearsals to accommodate students in sports and other extracurricular activities. She said rehearsals would be staggered a bit - she would first work with leads, then choir numbers, then choreographers and then, in the last month, everyone together. Rehearsals might be after school, in the evenings or on Saturdays, depending on students' schedules, Brice said.

"They're all so busy," she said. "(But) we're too small a school to say you only do this, and you only do this."

IF YOU GO

Lansing High School Sound Spectrum choir will perform two Valentine's shows Feb. 9 and 11 at Lansing Middle School. Cost is $25 per couple, which includes a lasagna dinner, salad, dessert and drink. Dinner begins at 6:30 p.m., and the choir will perform at 7:30 p.m. The show on Saturday, Feb. 11, is sold out, but for tickets to the Thursday, Feb. 9, show, call Jonnie Brice at 727-3357.

CAST LIST

Auditions for "How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying" took place last week. The cast was revealed this week, and the technical crew will be chosen later this week.

J. Pierrepont Finch: Cory Collins

Book voice: Matt Humphreys

Milt Gatch: Micah Gibler

The executives: Brandon Mills, Harrison Green, Jake Pike, Wil Dolan, Geoffrey Fowles

J.B. Biggley: Guy Gardner

Rosemary Pilkington: Miranda Nichols

Bert Bratt: Stephen Fischer

Smitty: Elizabeth Cristiano

Bud Frump: Stefan Froelich

Miss Krumholtz: Lauren Summers

Miss Jones: Brittney Atchison

Twimble: Matt Fischer

Hedy La Rue: Abby Hauver

Girls: Dana Sanders, Megan Wood, Raya Moss

Scrubwomen: Molly Kane, Mary Lyon

Waitress: Kaitlyn White

Benjamin Burton Daniel Ovington: Phillip Johnson

TV Announcer: Matt Peterson

Policeman: Jacob Howard

Wally Womper: John Edmonds

Pirate dancers: Gini Downing, Janette Valdez, Danielle Civils, Kelsey McClelland, Dana Sanders, Raya Moss

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