Under the direction of Simon Isherwood, Notre Dame Regional Secondary performedÂ “Bye, Bye Birdie”last week in front of a nearly sold-out audience each night! Enthusiastic students ranging from ages 13 to 17 took part in making the show come alive; whether it was singing 3-part harmonies or working on the elaborate set.
Teen heartthrob, Conrad Birdie visits the town of Sweet Apple, Ohio to kiss a lucky fan upon being drafted to the army, and ultimately causes swooning crowds and chaos among the teenaged population instead. “It’s funny what certain idols do to us,” says Anthony Belmonte (playing Conrad Birdie), “we usually look for someone to look up to, and that’s why this show is hilarious.” Jay Balletta, a newcomer on the musical theatre front (playing Albert Peterson) prides himself in being involved in such a comedy, and adds that “life has enough drama, and we don’t need to watch that in a play”.
For students like Vanessa Merenda (playing Rose Alvarez) and Michelle Luongo (playing Mrs. Mae Peterson) who have consumed their high school careers with musical theatre, they consider the arts in high school to be an amazing experience. “What we learn from each other on stage and behind the scenes in practice is all stuff we apply to real life,” says Michelle. Although the large ensemble of students in the show varies in musical theatre experience from none at all to years of practice, their exciting stage presence remained high throughout the entire show. This very stage presence is something that inspires grade 8 students like Sebastian Busse, who hopes that he can exude the same qualities as his grade 9, 10,11, and 12 mentors in future productions. “After performing with them, you’re inspired and want to be as well-trained and confident as them,” he says.
Keep checking back to Y57′s website for more info about events in the fine and performing arts!