High School VS. Broadway

MissEponine8
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High School VS. Broadway#0
Posted: 3/28/04 at 12:34am
Although High School productions of Broadway shows are usually crapp in comparison witht he real thing, I must say that the local high school in my area impressed me very much. I live in a small town. Small as it may be, the high school year is amazing. The students are fantastic singers, dancers, actors, everything. They put on Les Miserables this year(which made me quite happy, as I've been in it numerous times) and it simply mezmerized me. I think sometime High schools don't try hard enough, but this blew me away. Younger people are getting more and more talented, aren't they?
I'm Gail and Les Miserables and Footloose are among my favorite musicals. I have been in Les Miserables as both Eponine and Cosette, and in Footloose as Ariel and Rusty. I have also been in Fame! as Carmen Diaz. I was in Annie: the 20th aniversary at only 10 years old as Molly.
Rentaholic2
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re: High School VS. Broadway#1
Posted: 3/28/04 at 12:47am
Wow, Les Miz? That's impressive. I too live in a small town and actually attend the high school. We put a musical on every fall...I've been in Guys and Dolls, Grease, Hello, Dolly!, and a regional production of Oklahoma!...basically the easiest things we could come up with. For next year we're looking at Seven Brides for Seven Brothers...maybe West Side Story (yay!) and I'm working on my director for the latter or for My Fair Lady. The regional thing has done the Music Man and Oklahoma, and this summer, Annie. (not my favorite). I would love to see the day that my high school does something as challenging as Les Mis...of, course I would even more so love to see the day that they do it and impress people like you! I'm very impressed just by what you've said...
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re: re: High School VS. Broadway#2
Posted: 3/28/04 at 1:15am
Actually a lot of highschools in my area arent great (miami, FL) but im lucky enough to attend one of the best theatre schools in the state and we are always applauded(not to toot my own horn) we recently did oliver! and last year oklahoma!, and the year before anything goes, and my freshman year the still talked about fiddler on the roof(we actually have a big impact on our local area).
On wednesday i will be going to the state thespian festival in tampa and seeing some other great highschools perform.

High school theatre isnt just "high school caliber" anymore atleast in FL.
"Look on the Bright Side Not on the Blackside get off your backside shine those shoes! This is your golden opportunity: Your the lightning and the news!" -Assassins
Rentaholic2
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re: re: re: High School VS. Broadway#3
Posted: 3/28/04 at 1:24am
Sounds like a good program. Grease was a huge hit for us...Dolly wasn't...but we blame that all on our Dolly Levi. She was honestly the only person for the part (she was Rizzo in Grease and Adelaide in GandD), but she is the biggest DIVA and everyone hates her. The sad part is, she's not good enough that people in the proffesional wolrd will be willing to put up with her terrible....ness... to have her talent. anyway, one of my drama teachers wants to do Fiddler next fall, and I would love that! One of my favorites! But, we're a school that focuses more on our state one-act play contest. I am currently playing Hamlet, so wish me luck! We have our district contest on Friday, and the past two years we've gotten alternate at this level two years running. My youngest drama teacher remembers being in high school here....district alternate four years straight. She thinks its a curse, so I hope we haven't fallen back into it! (just knocked on wood)
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re: re: re: re: High School VS. Broadway#4
Posted: 3/28/04 at 9:51am
You said you think that high schools dont try enough? Well first you should come to NJ, because you should see some of these productions. They get top notch directors and have amazing talent. I recently saw MY Favorite Year and set pieces came down from the ceiling. And okay, well some just dont have the money or students interested to be amazing. I dont think thats fair of you to say. Like my school. Out of 600 kids, we have about 20-30 do the musical. The students most of the time have to supply their own costumes or go digging through the infamous prop closet. The students, under guidance, build the set. We dont have all these professional people come in- Its just us and we are still able to put on decent productions. Its a high school show- you will see many students with a lot of potential and then you will see a lot of kids who are just there because its something to do. Its hard when you dont have much money to work with.
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re: re: re: re: High School VS. Broadway#5
Posted: 3/28/04 at 9:53am
3 years ago, my high school did Brigadoon; one flat, a table, a chair or so, one set of costumes, and not hat much music. Cut to 3 years later; My Favorite Year (not really, just the name of the show). 2 or 3 sets of ensemble costumes, lead characters get costumes for every different day that passes in the show, 20 or so people playing in the "pit," FLY SPACE for our ENORMOUS sets, and fabulous talent. I was so surprised at the change in just 3 years, and was glad to be a part of this show. Some High Schools can just kick butt. Then again, this was never a big Broadway show that so many people know about, but don't just expect them all to be so terrible. :)
You know it and you want it... you just can't believe you've got it.
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The high school in my area performed Tommy this year and it was INCREDIBLE. It introduced me to the show and I adored it. Then again, they did Les Miz last year and it was awful...
MissEponine8
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Well, I live in NJ and close to the city. Our high school doesn't have much money and yet the musical was astounding. The girl who played Eponine has a lot of charisma, and she definitely looks older than a junior in high school. Her voice is amazing. I think that High School plays are definitely becoming more talented. My cousin played Gavroche so I went to see him. Otherwise, I probably wouldn't have gone. I'm glad I did.
I'm Gail and Les Miserables and Footloose are among my favorite musicals. I have been in Les Miserables as both Eponine and Cosette, and in Footloose as Ariel and Rusty. I have also been in Fame! as Carmen Diaz. I was in Annie: the 20th aniversary at only 10 years old as Molly.
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NYCbabe3789 - Do you live in Tennessee? Because a local school here did Les Miz last year and Tommy this year. If not, I think that is pretty interesting how two schools would have the same line up like that.
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Updated On: 3/28/04 at 11:32 AM
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I have to say that I am pretty proud of my high school's drama program. In the 10 years we have competed in our states one-act competition we have made it to state finals 7 times. For that we have done shows including A Chorus Line, Schoolhouse Rock Live, Runaways, Little Shop, Tommy, Charlie Brown, Working, Chicago, and West Side. Last year when we did Chicago and we took second in the state of Michigan! As well as four years prior to that when Runaways took second. In my four years there we went three times with Charlie Brown, Working, and Chicago none of which took lower than 4th. This year they did a fabulous West Side Story and didn't make it but hey were beat out by an absolutley astounding production of WIT that eventually won the state competition. As far as musicals go we have done Annie Get Your Gun, Annie, Peter Pan, Once Upon A Mattress, How To Succeed....Well that's all I can think of. But we have an extremely talented program at my old high school and I'm so glad I was part of it.
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High School shows can be great! its no broadway, but there are some out there that can really blow you away. My school is doing Pippin (and have to go soon to get ready for one of our afternoon performances). I have to say in our school, like every school, talent fluxuates good people come and go. But we always put on professional performaces. TECH is not allowed to be seen, you need to be in all black etc. The sets are always amazing and costumes too. My freshman year we did Anything Goes. EVERYONE needed to be in time period clothes. my director wouldnt allow anyone to be walking around in sun dresses (thank god!) WE even had to look up the hairstyles for the show and learn how to do them!
Though scattered and divided we are still its heart...AIDA SEPTEMBER 5th, 2004...one more longing backward glance... I AM NOW "TGIF!"
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lostwallflower
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I think my school is pretty lucky. We're doing Evita this year, followed by last year's Kiss Me Kate. Before that shows included Guys and Dolls, Grease, and Cinderella. We do a fall play each year on a smaller scale, this year's was A Streetcar Named Desire and last year's was Othello. We also have independent theatre with no budget and student directors. It's a new program, and so far they've done Glass Menagerie, Who's afriad of Virginia Woolf, Suddenly Last Summer and Waiting For Godot.

We have really dedicated students, and a faculty that's usually willing to back us. Also, luckily, we were given a gift from the wife of a man who died on September 11th. Her husband used to always talk about his days of doing plays at our school, and she gave us a gift his memorial fund.

We're excited about Evita, but it's off to a rough start. I'm the production manager, and dancer by dancer they're quitting (which is understandable- the choreographer has spent the last month working on Don't Cry For Me Argentina, only to find that there's no actual dancing for that in the show.)Tech is excited about lights, but we're having a pro set brought in and only a few people on running crew are needed. We have a tremendous interest in tech, but we can't find places to put everyone! We always offer them jobs as ushers, but they never fall for it.
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Well,
I live in a VERY small Arkansas town and finally (I'm taking credit for this) Broadway has been brought to this redneck village. I suggested doing 'Little Shop of Horror's and surprisingly, we're doing it! Not only that, but I got the role of Seymour! Anywho, it's April 9, and we haven't even started act II yet, nor do we have costumes, lights, sets, or the big Audrey II's. Oy vey.
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For some quality high school theater come to Manhattan, New York. Laguardia High School for Music and Art and Performing Arts has an astounding theater program---I've seen their productions of Into The Woods, The Threepenny Opera, Godspell and Les Miserables, and was blown away each year. Their theater is incredible; it's actually where the Drama Desk Awards are annually hosted each year.

The Professional Performing Arts School, where I attend school, has a much less impressive theater; it's poorly built, and quite small, but the talent up on that small stage is really mind-boggling. Two years ago they did "Sweet Charity", last year was "A Chorus Line" and we just finished our short run of "Carnival" last night. The leads for each show are really Broadway material. Actually, many kids from these schools have already played Broadway, so you know you're in for a good show. re: re: re: re: re: re: re: re: re: re: High School VS. Broadway
Rentaholic2
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marincrazy11, you say you did those shows for a state one act contest? Does your state have a one act MUSICAL contest? We just have a one act play contest, but do you have both or just one? That sounds really cool. Like I said, we do a fall musical every year, but I live in a VERY conservative southern town. I would Love to see the day that my town embraced an untraditional show like Chicago or LSOH or Tommy or Rocky Horror or a Chorus Line or anything! Those would be so much fun! But no, there was an enormous uproar of protest when we did GREASE!!! no lies!! Old people were dropping like flies with heart attacks. One of my friends who played a principle character, her own mother wrote a letter of complaint to our director. That is when I realized that many of the shows i would love to do, like Chicago, will just never happen re: re: re: re: re: re: re: re: re: re: High School VS. Broadway
BwayTheatre11
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Don't even get me started on my high school's theatre program...it is disgusting.
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Ah a mention of LaGuardia, my alma mater. I was never impressed with their productions personally, but then again, I was an art major so what the hell did I know.
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My school just finished with My Fair Lady, which was absolutely amazing. It had great costumes, and amazing dance sequences (mostly for the Alfie Doolittle songs). Students made up the orchestra, which was quite good. I'm really lucky to go to a school with such great performing arts- 14 shows a year and 2 theaters.

rclocalz: My school did Tommy this summer, and Les Miz last year as well!! It's in Massachusetts.
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re: High School VS. Broadway#18
Posted: 3/28/04 at 5:59pm
I am from a small town high school in Alabama. We just started our theatre company last year and we did Les Mis: School Edition and kicked butt. It was the best performance of a musical I have ever seen. I can say this because I was tech director and not actually in it. What I'm getting at is that I disagree with this whole string. I think high school shows are much more amazing than Broadway shows for the simple facts that no one gets paid (except the teachers), there is little to no training involved, very few rehearsals, almost no money, but the dedication far surpasses anything that Broadway gives. In short, I think that high school productions, no matter how much they may suck, should be commended because they're doing them. Many critics who slam high school productions don't have a clue as to how much blood, sweat, tears, and out-of-pocket expenses go into these shows. Basically, without high school shows, Broadway would dwindle to nothing.
16-year old Sparkman High School Theatre Company techie. Production Credits Include: Technical Director/Scenic Designer-Les Miserables: School Edition, TD/SD and Grip-The Park Bench, Grip-Dinner with Friends, TD/SD-The Bald Soprano, Student Director/SD-Into the Woods, and TD-Anything Goes
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re: re: High School VS. Broadway#19
Posted: 3/28/04 at 6:15pm
Amen to that.
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re: re: High School VS. Broadway#20
Posted: 3/28/04 at 6:19pm
I go to a performing arts high school, where I am a theatre major. We did Les Miserables last year, and that's why it is my favorite show. We did Jekyll and Hyde and Joseph... this year, and in the past we've done Hello Dolly, Honk, Annie, and so many others. We usually do one musical, three straight plays, and one dance drama a year. I am mesmerized at the talent we have at our school, and I am so honored to be a part of it. Even though I haven't actually been in a big show, I do dance shows, clown shows, tech and costuming, and even that's worth it. There's nothing as fabulous as the buzz of opening night. You can just feel it in the air. My goodness, do I love my school!
"The stage is where I live and come alive and act out all the things that go on in my life. It's not just what I do for a living, it's my shrink and my love affair. No one in my life has ever or ever will kiss me on the mouth like this lover called my relationship with my performance."
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re: re: re: High School VS. Broadway#21
Posted: 3/28/04 at 6:22pm
rclocalz-No, I don't live in Tennessee. What a coincidence. :)
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re: re: re: re: High School VS. Broadway#22
Posted: 3/28/04 at 6:23pm
I'm also really lucky to go to a public high school with an exceptional theatre program, hard-working faculty involved in that program, and a lot of very talented students. I'm a pit musician, but I still don't know what I'd do if our theatre program wasn't as fantastic as it is. Every year I'm amazed at how well the shows turn out.
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Updated On: 3/28/04 at 06:23 PM
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When my school did "Anything Goes" this year I was impressed, like you said High School plays are usually crap but I thought my school did this show pretty good. The only thing I didn't like was the girl that played "Hope".. she wasn't right for the role.
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I think that it really depends on the people (or the director, for that matter)...you can have a good program, or a horribly crappy one.

Our school had a would-be star (who I think is circling around the US in regional projects right now- where's the broadway show, V?) and the department was excellent a few years ago.

Then they changed directors, the stars graduated, and we have a very sloppy drama department now. I just stopped even working in it because I don't want to see it falling apart. Which is really sad...