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by Sarah Jane Eves
I’ve been in four musicals at SJHS, and have been going to SJHS productions for several more. There’s something about our theatre that proves how intense and talented this school really is. Though the annual Shakespeare productions continually blow the minds of those who attend the performances, the musicals have a mood unlike any other and are truly unique. Ok, let me back up to 1999, when I was a young, wide-eyed girl of fourteen and began rehearsals for “The Music Man”….
I’ll never forget the day we all met in the auditorium to learn the song “Seventy-Six Trombones.” There was such a diverse range of people and talent grouped together. Unlike other High School Musicals, SJHS productions always have a large cast. “The Music Man” was no different. Not only are the numbers impressive, but the diversity of the cast is another reason our musicals are repeatedly successful. From the dedicated singers to the less than “musical” jocks, the show was full of lively characters who brought their own personal flare to the stage. Needless to say, I was hooked on theatre!
This year however, is a bit of a departure from the “normal” SJHS productions. “Les Miserables” was one of the most powerful musicals we have performed in several years. There was lots of talk about it being the best in the city, and how amazing the “dream cast” was. Ok…I’m a little partial, as I played “Mme. Thenardier”, but when I tell you that this production was INCREDIBLE please don’t think I’m being pretentious. Throughout my seventeen years I have been in a lot of theatre, and “Les Mis” is most definitely the best by far. The attitude of the cast was much more different from any of the other musical productions put on in the past four years. One of the constant problems with working with teenagers is that we tend to assume the worst. I admit it…I have been known to complain about productions I have been in. But this time, I never heard one complaint from anyone involved. Rather than dreading rehearsals, the cast came with positive attitudes and brimming with excitement. It was for that reason (and hey, maybe a little talent) that “Les Mis” was the massive success that it was. We renewed High School’s amazing theatrical reputation, and that’s something that every cast member should be proud of!