A month of magical musicals
November will be a busy month for high school drama enthusiasts, because both the Lakers and Pacers will be performing their fall musicals.
The curtain rises at 7 p.m. on Thursday for Lake Oswego High's interpretation of "The Drowsy Chaperone," a satirical musical based on an American comedy from the 1920s. At the same time, Lakeridge High students will unveil their production of "Mary Poppins," a timelessly entertaining classic.
There are six performances of each play, with the same dates and times for all performances. Shows will be at 7 p.m. on Nov. 9, 11, 16 and 18, with matinees at 2 p.m. on Nov. 11 and 18.
'The Drowsy Chaperone'
"The Drowsy Chaperone" will invite audiences to "journey into the roaring 20s" with a lively, hilarious musical featuring two lovers on the eve of their wedding, a bumbling best man, a desperate theater producer, a not-so-bright hostess, gangsters posing as pastry chefs, a misguided Don Juan and an intoxicated chaperone.
There's also an impressive set, with a levitating airplane that can be boarded by students.
Lauren Welton, a sophomore at LOHS and a member of "The Drowsy Chaperone" crew, says this Tony Award-winning musical is special because it's not well known.
"It's fun to be a part of because it's new to everyone. It's not a well-known show, so the majority of the people involved are learning it while putting it together," Welton said. "People should come to the musical because it's something different. It's new and exciting and tons of fun."
Senior Julia Wolf plays leading lady Janet Van de Graaff, and she says "The Drowsy Chaperone" is especially fun to be involved with because of the time period it's set in.
"It's the 1920s, so it's super sparkly and glamorous," Wolf said. "The costumes are bright and the music is lively, and you can't help but put a smile on your face when you see the comedy unfold."
Members of the cast and crew spoke about the close-knit drama community during rehearsals for the "The Drowsy Chaperone" on Tuesday. Drama "really brings people together," Welton said. "It's a safe place to be creative
and express yourself."
Fellow LOHS sophomore and crew member Will Firmin had similar feelings.
"I love the friendly atmosphere that is present whenever we are working together," he said. "It is a great place to meet new people and make friends."
Across the lake, the Lakeridge drama program will perform the Broadway musical "Mary Poppins," which is based on the works of P.L. Travers and the beloved Disney film that starred Julie Andrews and Dick Van Dyke.
Earlier this year, Lakeridge director and drama teacher Andy Ballnik said he chose the production because "it was going to be a challenge — artistically, creatively and technically."
And as for the music? Well, Ballnik said, it is timeless.
"I guarantee the audience will walk out with an overwhelming feeling of nostalgia," he said.
Members of the cast and crew also bonded through the process of putting this show together.
"Everyone gets to know each other really well," said Evan Melendez, who is a member of the ensemble and plays Valentine the doll. "There's a lot of energy and excitement, and everyone really bonds."
Mary Poppins is played by senior Sarah Deyoung, who says there are a lot of lasting friendships made in theater. The production "is something everyone can do together to accomplish our end goal," said Deyoung. "It's something we all love doing."
Deyoung promises a magical show.
"The magic of 'Mary Poppins' inspires a lot of imagination," she said. "It takes you a step beyond reality."
Lakeridge's performance will feature a flying Mary Poppins, thanks to the work of a specialist brought in from Las Vegas. Kevin Jung, who plays Bert, said the airborne acrobatics will provide audiences with something fun they don't see in most high school performances.
"It will be a fun surprise for people," Jung said.
All performances of "The Drowsy Chaperone" will be held in the LOHS auditorium (2501 Country Club Road). Tickets are $12 for adults, $8 for students and $5 for children 5 or under. Doors will open 30 minutes prior to each show. To buy tickets ahead of time, go to www.eticketexpress.com.
All performances of "Mary Poppins" will be held in the Lakeridge auditorium (1235 Overlook Drive). Tickets are available to purchase for $8-12 at www.pacer-drama.org.
Tickets to both musicals will also be sold at the door.