St. Lucie West Centennial High School Theater Program Presents the World Premiere of Original Musical FOR WHAT IT'S WORTH
The St. Lucie West Centennial High School Theater program proudly presents the WORLD PREMIERE of an original full length musical entitled FOR WHAT IT'S WORTH Oct 20-23.
Original musicals are hard to come by even on Broadway- many shows are either revivals of classics, or based on pre-existing music from a beloved band or based on the story of a popular movie. But not For What It's Worth, which plays at St. Lucie West Centennial High from October 20-23 by Theatre Director Samantha LaCroix and former student and playwright Ryan Freeman.
The show first came to life six years ago, when LaCroix and Freeman were discussing a lack in original material. "We started joking about writing our own musical so we could do something fresh and new, and honestly because we could not afford the performance rights for the existing musicals, and so the long crazy ride began. We came up with a story outline and then began to write it at Panera Bread whenever we had a chance."
Panera was ideal for the pair for two reasons- free Wi-Fi and delicious pastries- and so they sat and wrote the story of this musical in the summer. "The songs had not been dreamed up yet, except in their most basic form, and we just knew the feel we wanted each musical number to have." says LaCroix.
As is often the case, life became busy and the musical was soon swept under the rug making way for more important things, such as college for Ryan and building a theater program for Samantha.
Then last year something magical happened. "I took a look around my advanced Acting class and saw that it was time. I finally had the actors and singers that could pull this musical off. Inspired, I began writing music and soon it began to flow. Originally there were only about 5 songs, now there are over 15! Plus reprises and all those good things. I would read the musical to the students and they would point out where a song should go and then just like that, it would pop up in my head and almost write itself!", LaCroix notes.
LaCroix began writing music at 4:00 am, during class, on weekends- whenever time was available. She invitEd Ryan for auditions In March and the duo fell in love with their actors and revised the script- adding more characters and expanding parts for some as the characters grew in front of their eyes, and before they knew it, they had a full length musical bursting at the seams.
"As I work with the talented singers and actors, I am able to tailor the part specifically to their strengths and weaknesses-adding a melody here, changing the pitch there, until we have the perfect showcase for their considerable talents," says LaCroix. "Many parents of the cast members can now be seen humming the tuneful melodies of the show, as well as rocking out to some of the more funky songs inspired by rap and hip hop."
The cast is led by Senior Sharon Sanford who plays Katrina, a beautiful and naive dancer with big dreams. She is being courted by Artie played by Anthony Ceglio, who undergoes a Clark Kent-Superman type transformation triggered by his love for her, as he turns from "Always the best Man, never the Groom" into a romantic heart throb. She is simultaneously pursued by lecherous casino owner Simon Cordella (Jonathan Velasquez) whose song Show me the Money sums up his greedy nature, both financial and otherwise, as he is always looking for the next conquest with the help of his two bodyguards (Carlos Cuevas and Diangelo Montesano). Simon's long suffering girlfriend, Sasha, played by Savanna Neal is always looking over his shoulder with her posse a la "mean girls", played by Daniela Recinos, Dina Jamai, Alex Vargas and Avery Coffey) and tells him repeatedly that "Sasha sees and Sasha knows, what you need is me, fabulous me", as he asserts that "I am Simon Cordella, the king of the roost"and that he is too busy for her at the moment as he talks to twins Tina and Nina (Kimberly Harvey and Lexie Rider) and "smells fresh blood" as he tries to make Katrina his new leading lady.
The trigger for this mess and Kat running away in the first place is shady Coconut club owner Igor played by Jake LaCroix, who uses his girlfriend Rosalinda (Jaime Scheib) to "return his property" as 'Kat' pursues her at first misguided dreams. Throw into the mix Vivian, Simon's crazy mother with a questionable past (Samara Keen), her long suffering latte boy Pablo (BranDon White), Artie's dad the powerful Maddox Cordella (Michael Smythe), wardrobe goddess Gina (Amy Gonzalez) and Mama, Kat's loving mother and spiritual guide played by Timmandra Richardson, and you have quite the show.
For What it's Worth will play Oct 20, 21 and 22 at 7:00 pm and Sunday Oct 23 at 2:00 pm in the SLWCHS auditorium on 1485 Cashmere Blvd in Port Saint Lucie.
Tickets are only $15 and can be bought at slwch.booktix.com or by calling 772-236-4515. A limited number of seats will be available one hour before the performances as well.