Storming the stage
Fall is here, which means the start of the performing arts season at high schools and middle schools across Lake Oswego — and this year, there's plenty to be excited about.
A variety of band, orchestra and choral performances are scheduled on both sides of the lake in the next few weeks, and young actors will star in musical productions at both high schools in early November.
Thespians at Lake Oswego High School will present "The Drowsy Chaperone," a classic Broadway production with the tagline "a musical within a comedy." The play parodies musical comedy of the 1920s, and director and drama teacher Bob McGranahan describes it as an "homage to musicals, in a really sarcastic yet loving way."
The cast has been putting tremendous effort into the production, which features a lot of singing and dancing — specifically tap dancing, which McGranahan says the majority of the cast had to learn for the musical.
McGranahan says the musical is "pure fun," and he describes the characters as "barely characters — they're almost cartoons." The style of humor is similar to Vaudeville, a comedic style popular in the early 20th century but foreign to most of the cast members.
"It's been interesting to get these kids acquainted with this style of comedy," McGranahan says.
At Lakeridge High, students will perform their fall musical, "Mary Poppins." Lakeridge director and drama teacher Andy Ballnik says he chose the production because "it was going to be a challenge — artistically, creatively and technically."
And as for the music? Well, Ballnik says, it is timeless.
"I guarantee the audience will walk out with an overwhelming feeling of nostalgia," he says.
Nina Heidgerken, a senior who will play Michael Banks, says she couldn't be happier that "Mary Poppins" will be her senior show, because it's the first Broadway musical she ever saw.
Heidgerken says the musical is difficult to put on, which means that it will be a more professional and enjoyable show for the audience.
"Mr. Ballnik hates the phrase, 'It was good, for a high school play,'" says Heidgerken. "He really pushes us to be better and to put on a great show, period."
Both musicals will premiere at their respective school auditoriums on Thursday, Nov. 9, at 7 p.m. Both also have additional performances at 2 p.m. and 7 p.m. on Saturday, Nov. 11; 7 p.m. on Thursday, Nov. 16; and 2 p.m. and 7 p.m. on Saturday, Nov. 18.
For tickets ($8-12) to "The Drowsy Chaperone," go to www.eticketexpress.com/#/event/lohsdrama/drowsy. Tickets to "Mary Poppins" will be available online ($8-12) starting Oct. 23 at www.pacer-drama.org.
Also on stage
In addition to the fall theater productions, LOSD choirs, orchestras and bands have scheduled a host of musical performances in the coming weeks. All are free and open to the public, and all will be held in the school auditoriums unless otherwise indicated:
Monday, Oct. 16: Lakeridge High Fall Choir Concert, 7 p.m. at Lakeridge High
Tuesday, Oct. 17: LOHS Fall Festival of Choirs, 7 p.m. at Lake Oswego High; Lakeridge High/Lakeridge Junior High Fall Orchestra Concert, 7 p.m. at Lakeridge High
Wednesday, Oct. 18: Lakeridge High/Lakeridge Junior High Fall Orchestra Concert, 7 p.m. at Lakeridge High; Lake Oswego Junior High Choir Concert, 7 p.m. at Lake Oswego High
Thursday, Oct. 19: Lakeridge Junior High Fall Band Concert, 7 p.m. at Lakeridge High
Friday, Oct. 20: Lakeridge Junior High Beginning Band Fun Friday, 3-6 p.m. in the West Gym, classrooms, hallways and cafeteria at Lakeridge Junior High
Tuesday, Oct. 24: Lakeridge High Wind Ensemble Concert, 7:30 p.m. in the Commons at Lakeridge High; Lake Oswego Junior High Halloween Band Concert, 7 p.m. at LOHS
Wednesday, Oct. 25: Lakeridge Junior High Beginning Band Concert, 7 p.m. at Lakeridge High; Lake Oswego High/Lake Oswego Junior High Orchestra Concert, 7 p.m. at Lake Oswego High
Lake Oswego High School is located at 2501 Country Club Road; Lakeridge High is at 1235 Overlook Drive.