Spring is here, and that can only mean one thing in the world of high school theater: It’s musical time. This weekend you have your choice of two shows with the potential to send you home singing—and maybe even dancing.
At Dos Pueblos, they are pulling out all the stops at their newly named Elings Performing Arts Center, where Hello Dolly! will be running from Friday, April 15, through Saturday, April 23. Based on a play by Thornton Wilder, and with music and lyrics by Jerry Herman, Hello Dolly! is one of the most beloved musicals in the history of American theater. Guest director Rod Lathim and guest choreographer Peter McCorkle have gone back to the original Broadway version for inspiration and will be using Gower Champion’s Tony-winning steps with their cast, which includes DP senior Hannah Gunson in the title role.
Over at Laguna Blanca School’s Spaulding Auditorium, director Joseph Beck and a cast that includes juniors Cameron Platt and Andrew McCaffery have been hard at work on hit Broadway musical Chicago. Laguna freshman Autumn van Diver will play the bewitching and murderous vaudeville star Roxie Hart in this audience favorite. Chicago will only play for one weekend, on Friday, April 15 and Saturday, April 16, at 7 p.m. and Sunday, April 17, at 2 p.m. There are many more reasons to see either (or both) of these great shows, but here are three good ones to get you motivated. For tickets and info for Hello Dolly! call 968-2541 ext. 285 or visit dphs.org. For Chicago, call 687-2461 ext. 217.
1. Dolly Is Still Glowin’, Crowin’, and Goin’ Strong: This classic show has roots that go as far back as the London stage of the 19th century, but the musical version, with its irresistible Jerry Herman score, has been produced all over the world in numerous productions ever since its 1964 Broadway debut.
2. All That Jazz: Chicago boasts original choreography by Bob Fosse, the most admired (and imitated) Broadway dance maker since Jerome Robbins.
3. See the Stars of Tomorrow Today: Santa Barbara’s high school theater scene has an incredible track record when it comes to producing successful actors. Eric Stoltz and Anthony Edwards, to name just two, got their start on school stages here. And, on Saturday night, a reunion gathering of Hello Dolly! alums from San Marcos and SBCC’s 1985 production will gather onstage after the show at the Elings Performing Arts Center. Now that’s entertainment.