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My High School Musical

Along for the ride as musicals come to life

Memorize.. memorize..


So we’ve blocked act one and I was told to memorize my lines. Uh. What? Ouch. This hurts my brain. I’m trying, I really am but it’s scary and I can’t help but feel I won’t be able to make it in time.

Rehearsals are still a ton of fun though. I really love the music (except of course the songs I have to sing.) For some reason the dancing seems simpler this year, which is a GOOD thing because it’s something I can grasp.

I really see a lot of progress being made and it’s really positive, but because the dates of the show changed my Aunt Sharon won’t be able to come and see it now. Boo. On the other hand, it does give us a lot of time to polish up!

One last thing! I’ve been trying on tunics and they look really cool. I’m SO excited for the costumes! 🙂

Posted by tbidon on Sunday, March 14th, 2010 at 8:29 pm |
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Saturday Night Performance


As our director called it, we had the “saturday night slump”. We weren’t bad by any means, we just lacked the energy of opening night. Character wise though, Wendy Jo (Jenny P) was doing great, and my dances were spot on. Ms. Gregory, our choreographer, discussed with me that the dances were okay, but the finale was even better than last night. Now that is a good thing.
We also have parents helping us out, and they do such a phenomenal job. Mrs. Florio, Mrs. Moscato, Mrs. Curtis and Mrs. Audia are some of the most dedicated moms I’ve ever met…. and hilarious. My mom helps out when she can, and last night she helped out backstage for a bit. It was funny, listening to my mother try and give people advice on 80’s hair haha.
The weather was a huge road-block for some people. I think that was why we had a (slightly) smaller audience than Friday, and we may have one today. It’s been so gross but dangerous out.

Here are some photos!

From “Still Rockin” / “Lets Hear it for the Boy” (I’m in the red shirt doing the dorky thumbs up).

“Mama Says”.

Town Council Scene

Ariel and Ren (Kelly “da Curtis” Curtis and Devon James Krobetzky).

Posted by murgo on Sunday, March 14th, 2010 at 12:09 pm |
Category: Harrison
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opening night!



so opening night was the best we’ve EVER performed footloose!

friday we were able to have an in school rehearsal, which was much needed because thursday night went down terribly. We barely made it through act 1 and didnt even get to act two. there was a lot of sitting and doing nothing, which should never happen the night before the show. friday morning though, we got a good grip on it and made a wonderful show on friday. Before that though, I stayed with Jen Parravani (wendy jo) and Ms. Fucso to decorate the hallway. We had bought some stuff online but my mom donated a lot of stuff frmo her company, so we were able to make the main hallway 80’s tastic. It looked incredible, with Flashdance posters near our bios, inflatable guitars, it was just very cool. It was also nice to spend some time with “the fusc”.

As for the performnance, the house was packed.  I don’t think we expected that many people. “Girl Gets Around'” with Ariel and Chuck Cranston was the best it ever was, and Devon (Ren) really shined. I’m so proud of my seniors. My dancing was great too! I was able to get myself into two dancing scenes I’m not really supposed to be in (hehe) and I was surprised to see my improvement. Dancing is the most difficult for me, but I came so far since freshmen year. It was nice sitting with the current cast and some alumni at the diner and after, and we’ve all become so close.

I’m looking forward to what everyone is going to say. I’m still trying to find photos and hopefully there will be some from tonight’s show!



Posted by murgo on Saturday, March 13th, 2010 at 3:39 pm |
Category: Harrison, Uncategorized
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day 3 of hell week, complete.


sunday, monday & tuesday = finito.

wednesday, thursday, still to go

friday, SHOW.

Tonight we did a great job. We were able to run the show and I could see an improvement in the first act. Since we’ve run that one, I think we’re stronger there. Our Moore family really just blows me away, and today their scenes stuck out to me. Vi is played by Judy Florio and I can honestly say, without any bias (okay maybe a little bit), she is one of the most talented actresses from our age group I have ever met. I’ve done seven shows with her, and I’m her director in Rabbit Hole, and I really hope the audience can recognize not just her pretty voice, but her genuine acting ability. Our Reverend Shaw is a first timer, Mac, but you wouldn’t know it by the way he memorizes his long monologues. He’s right for the part.

Also right for the part is Jen (wendy jo). She just continues to make me laugh, even though her lines in one scene are just “uh-huh!”. It is talent to make those lines stand out.

One bit of rehearsal was a bit funny though, because during “Mama Says”, Willard slipped over his own feet haha. Very typical of the character.

I’m also trying to make Eleanor, my character, funny. She’s not important but since this was the role I’ve been given, I REALLY want her to stand out. I think I’ve done a good job so far, but I added glasses to my costume today. I’m going to test it out. I like it, because I do feel like Eleanor, but I feel like my English teacher and I’m afraid no one will recognize me.

Speaking of costumes, we got those Sunday. Everyone has church attire, in addition to western outfits if you’re a dancer. Mine are… interesting, lets put it that way hahaha. No one ever likes their costume, but mine makes me look like a bit of a pink hippo. My other outfit is questionable, but doesn’t fit right so we’ll see about that one. I like to see people own how ugly their costumes are, and work with it. You have to be able to laugh at yourself.

Overall, tonight went fine minus the fact we had to re-choreograph the end of the finale again. Hopefully everybody remembers the new version. Wouldn’t want to mess that up.  The vocals also need to be pumped up.

Posted by murgo on Tuesday, March 9th, 2010 at 11:08 pm |
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hell week!


I love hell week.

it began sunday with a pretty rockin rehearsal. apparently the tech crew was building set all day saturday and spent eight hours on cues, had it all done and then…. poof. technology failed. The poor crew had to RE-TECH Act 1. Eight hours, gone (eight hours, for what? oh tell me what i gottt. see? footloose lyrics always apply).

Sunday went well but to be honest, I can’t quite remember it. It’s all a blur! Yesterday was good too, a little slow moving though. There’s a good chunk of time where I’m not in any scenes, so I cuddled on the floor with my friends and  cracked jokes, which was fun. That’s always the best part of any show – the friends you make. Thanks to theatre, I became friends with so many people I thought would never even talk to me. By Hell Week, you’re all friends and by the show, you’re all family.

The only part i DONT like about hell week is being exhausted. I have my only two dances in a row, i dont go off stage, so it’s difficult for me. Gotta build up that endurance. I also wish my teachers could understand that I’m literally at school for like 14 hours. Today, one teacher said, “I don’t like the musical”. Well… you can imagine how I felt about that! I gave her quite a puzzled look and a “what did you just say?” stare. When I asked why, she said, “Well it consumes all your time”. I actually laughed because this teacher is new, and I don’t think she understands the type of productions Harrison puts on. When I was in my first footlight production, I kept trying to explain to my parents that they weren’t your typical “set made out of cardboard, sing along to a tape and the lead reads lines off paper” school musicals. Harrison puts on GOOD shows. I’m not saying we’re professionals, but were certainly getting there, and most people are shocked the first time they come see  them. The reason it takes all of our time is because we’re dedicated to it, and the result is an amazing show.

So far we’re doing okay. It’s coming together, and I think we’ll be ready by Friday. Ms. Fusco is working us all pretty hard, so its easy to understand her frustration when leads don’t know their vocal parts. It is hard, especially when you’re singing with other people of different vocal parts around you, but I think if you’re a lead you should be extremely grateful and  go way beyond the minimum so that you’re up to par.

Speaking of leads, I think everyone is going to be in for a surprise. It’s pretty much the same kids you’re used to seeing if you’ve come to past shows, but I’m glad we’re able to show case them in other ways. Devon (Ren) for example, played the father in Beauty and the Beast last year, and now he is able to act as a teen. Last year, Kelly was a Silly Girl in BATB, and now is the rambunctious Ariel Moore. Its really nice to see all my friends come out of their performing shells and grow as people.

that’s all for now… enjoy the gorgeous weather everyone! too bad we cant have rehearsal outside.

Posted by murgo on Tuesday, March 9th, 2010 at 3:52 pm |
Category: Harrison
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Photos from “Forbidden”


The Rock Musical is an interesting new concept for me, because instead of a cliché orchestra we have a pit with guitars and basses and drum sets and all kinds of neat stuff! Music CrewHere are Dakota Scholz and Billy Roues working on music.

The second photo was taken while we were choreographing the song “Gloria” in which a giant space squid attacks the ship. (Happens all the time, right?) It doesn’t look exciting, but these kids were listening very hard! They are: Cedric Bluman, Sam Fortunato, Nina Heller and Malcolm Simpson.Cast

Posted by tbidon on Tuesday, March 9th, 2010 at 7:28 am |
Category: Rockland Country Day
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Auditions and Callbacks – THE DROWSY CHAPERONE


Wow! I still can’t believe we are doing the Drowsy Chaperone. After premiering CURTAINS last year in Westchester and in Scotland!! – I was excited again to be the first regional group and high school to be doing a new show.

Auditions were even more nerve-racking then ever. I sang a song from Chicago called “Razzle Dazzle” hoping to “razzle dazzle” our director. I got up on that stage and sang my best trying so hard to remember the words over how nervous I was. Thankfully my song worked because I was called back for a leading role. That was a relief.

I stepped into the theater that Saturday morning and saw a set of familiar faces who I was auditioning against for the parts. I was so nervous seeing how this was my last year and my last chance to make it big. If it wasn’t for my best friend, Mike Finn, being there I probably would have freaked out. I read and sang for the characters of Underling, Robert Martin, and The Man in Chair. Reading for these characters was tons of fun. I sang one song each for them and then read one or two scenes each. After everybody did the characters they were called to do, Mr. Portanova sent most of us home. The only people remaining were four guys to read The Main in Chair’s part. I was one of them. I was excited but nervous. I was being recognized to have a chance at the lead which is always a wonderful feeling. However, I was scared that I would read it wrong or mess up a line. As time grew closer to me reading, I got more and more anxious. When we all read the part one last time, he sent us home telling us to check the website on Monday for the cast list. I walked out of that theater in a state of total unease.

Those next two days were like torture for me and everyone else. Everyone was on edge about what characters they got and the characters other people got. Text messages and emails were circling in the air with angry and anxious thoughts about the cast list and when it will go up. As usual, everyone was making their predictions on who got what part. It’s a common thing to start labeling people as one character or another. I even did it because of how restless I was. Finally, late Monday night, the cast list finally goes up and I was afraid to hit the link. All these thoughts began to run through my mind. Did I get the part I wanted? Did I even get a lead at all? Only one way to find out!

I clicked the link and the first name I saw was “The Man in Chair – Doug Daniels.” I was ecstatic! I got the lead in the show! Everyone was facebooking and calling me to congratulate me on my role. My heart began to race and I was just in total shock about what had happened. The first practice I got my script and noticed I had the fist line in the show. It was two pages long!!!!!! I was nervous at first but then I began to feel a lot more confident. I was eager to learn my lines and take on probably the most challenging character I have yet to have.

Posted by ddaniels on Saturday, March 6th, 2010 at 4:07 pm |
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Learning to be Silent


Footloose was in the paper the other day and there will be more to come, thanks to Mr. Kramer. There’s a nice shot of my best friend Jenny (Wendy Jo) and a few others running our opening number. That number is coming along very well, especially the “On Any Sunday”.

It’s getting down to crunch time, and its making everyone nervous. Tonight, we had to change a bit of our finale because the choreography wasn’t working out. However, we were able to do a full run on Monday or something, and it was not as bad as we thought it would be. We’re really making progress and I think we’ll be clean by NEXT FRIDAY night… if everyone can stop talking. There’s nothing more frustrating than a cast that doesn’t listen! I just wish everyone could be a little quieter sometimes, because we would get so much more done.

At this point, what needs to be done is cleaning choreography and improving acting and singing. We have the skeleton, we just need the internal organs, haha. It IS hard to sing and dance at the same time, especially heavy dance musicals like Footloose, but it’s just something you get used to after doing shows for a while. The vocal support is lacking, and I just wish our cast would get a bit more pumped up! Who knows what Hell Week will bring. That’s my favorite part, though… and I can’t wait!

The funny thing about Hell Week is your life is dedicated to the show. I love it of course, but it can mean homework has to take a back seat, which is hard for me, because I’m basically a neurotic student. When I get home at 10, exhausted and not in a wonderful mood from being so tired, the last thing I want to do is homework for two or three hours. Usually though, I find teachers are more understanding because they know what you’re going through, or at least can recognize that you’ve been at the school for 15+ hours. That’s nice, at least.

Oh yeah, and our set looks incredible! The bridge is great, so are the lockers. I really love what the tech crew has done, and really respect the time my good friends Teddy O’Rourke and Samantha Stump have put into it. They’re two of the stage managers, and are great at what they do.

Enjoy the weekend everyone, and thank you for reading. 🙂

Ps. Still trying to get some photos!

Posted by murgo on Thursday, March 4th, 2010 at 6:56 pm |
Category: Harrison
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Gonna try and get some pictures of rehearsal today to put up here. 🙂 Everything has been going so well. We pushed back the date of the play a week so it caused a little bit of drama because all of the sudden (with my family at least) conflicts came out of the woodworks. It’s a little stressful but we’ll cope. Mr. Fyfe has been giving me really close and specific direction about how to handle myself on stage to make my character funny. I had to watch William Shatner perform Rocket Man on youtube last night because he told me to think of Captain Tempest while I did. I wasn’t sure whether to laugh or just be disturbed.

Anyway, I have rehearsal every day this week, but I’m excited! I’m having a lot of fun. We have a lot of funny bits and the entire cast is putting forth a lot of effort. We’re all bonding and having a good time AND I’ve actually memorized a few of my lines! Yes! I can see a show forming and it’s really exciting!

Posted by tbidon on Tuesday, March 2nd, 2010 at 8:11 am |
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I Can’t Stand Still


I never walk when I can run / I  don’t believe I ever could / People try to slow me down / saying boy you really should / kick back and chill but / I can’t stand still!

That’s one of my favorite songs from Footloose and I think it describes the cast at this point in the show. It’s so close to show time, and we’re all really excited, but we’re not quite there yet! I can’t wait to see Devon (Ren) sing and dance to it. I also really like the rap, “Dancing is not a crime”, which is a crime but not a rap in our show, however. Sort of disappointed with that because I think the rap is fun, but it’s just the show. It also works a lot better for the scene.

My last dance rehearsal was Wednesday. We did  the finale, which thankfully showcases the adult characters. Not to be a total “Debbie Downer”, but it’s frustrating when you’re inhibited from dancing, a huge, impressive part of a musical. I was happy to dance with my show husband, Coach Dunbar. The adults get to dance down a line, and I feel like I gotta come up with a pretty sweet aisle dance! I was actually surprised at how well I picked up the dance. I came a long way in my dancing and I’m proud of that. It’s not easy for me to be a dancer. I don’t learn dances quickly, but I can perform them with quality once I do. There’s so many talented dancers that come out and do the show, it’s really great to see.

Having it be my last dance rehearsal is so weird. I used to love them, especially during February break because we’d learn a dance in a DAY. My guess is that it takes four or five straight hours for a cast to learn a dance well enough to perform it, and it was nice doing it all in one day. It was fun goofing around with my friends in an empty school – I remember doing “Human Again” from Beauty and the Beast in the cafeteria. I felt like we had all the time in the world, then. Without those rehearsals, I’m surprised we’re pulling together so well.  The snow day today did put us back a rehearsal, which was going to be our first (possibly)complete runthrough. Yikes. All lines memorized, off book, dances clean… it can be ugly. But that’s what review is for, and we’re going to be great once the show rolls around! That’s why we work so hard.

We did get our set, also! I saw some nice church looking window thingamabobs, as well as a sign for the dancing place the teens go to. It’s like a rodeo, which is very cute. Apparently a lot of our tech crew built it. I think we are putting it together the weekend before hell week, which is the second week of March.

On an unrelated note, I would like to keep the tech crew in everyone’s minds. A lot of them and a few of the cast lost a good friend this past week, and I would just ask that everybody keep them in their prayers.

I’m trying to come up with some photo’s from rehearsals, and hopefully I will have some soon. Stay warm, everybody!

Posted by murgo on Saturday, February 27th, 2010 at 12:51 am |
Category: Harrison
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