I pass by the Montgomery High School every day on my way to work. And for years I have seen them put signs out about upcoming plays. I’ve always been impressed by their selection of works, but I’ve never considered stopping in to see one. I guess it seemed weird to go to a high school performance at a school where my kids don’t go (and won’t go).
And yet, why should that be? It’s a fun way to spend some time watching talented actors doing a good show, right? With Clark doing stage crew for his upcoming fifth grade play and Tabby really enjoying performing in the house, I thought that perhaps it would be fun for everyone.
Well, it turned out that neither Clark nor Sarah could go, so I took Tabby. And we had a wonderful time!
Tabby was thrilled by the show and I enjoyed it very much (and was shocked to realize how much I did not know the music for this story–I guess we’ve watched other Disney movies a lot more than this one).
I was utterly blown away by the quality of the performance and, frankly, by the quality of the theater. The theater has a tremendous “orchestra pit” built under the stage. The seats were incredibly comfortable and the theater held over 700 people. Not to mention, aside from a couple of technical glitches with some of the microphones, the sound was outstanding. I took some pictures just to show Sarah how great a show it was, but I won’t post them here for the students’ privacy (even though I’m sure the actors would love to see themselves).
Now for a few extra raves.
I am led to believe that using wires is pretty much mandatory in high school productions these days. Well, I haven’t seen a high school production in decades, so imagine my surprise when Scuttle flies out over the stage. Or when, soon after, Prince Eric falls off his ship and “floats” on a wire while Ariel rescues him (also on a wire). It was amazing.
The sets were also really cool. Ariel’s little private cove where she keeps all of her human treasures was nicely done–looking cool but also light and easy to move. And I loved King Triton’s trident which glowed with lights (and changed color).
But perhaps the best prop was that whenever the actors were “underwater,” they were on heelies to skate around without walking. I don’t know if that’s what Broadway does, but I thought it was very clever.
And a few major kudos to the performers. Rebecca Reilly was Ariel and she sang beautifully. She was born to be Ariel. This was also her first place with the Theater group! Josh Kring as Price Eric was also really good. He has performed in a lot of their productions (and now I’m annoyed that I never went to their previous shows).
But for my (very little) money (tickets were only $8) the star of the show was Brennan Spector as Scuttle and Chef Louis. In addition to getting to fly on a wire all through the show, Spector had a great singing voice, he did a tap dance and he was amazingly over the top as Chef Louis. He brought real laughter to the show (true the story isn’t really very funny, but still). His outrageous accent and great stage presence while singing about “Le Poissons” was great. And the fact that he had his pants pulled down nearly brought the house down. I also loved reading in his blurb that he has been on Sesame Street and has been in a movie called Non-Dicktion (which I’ve never heard of).
The rest of the cast was really great too. Logan Geddes as Flounder and Jonathan Lee as King Triton. I really enjoyed the way Nia Pretto and Juliana Cresti were decorated as the electric eels Flotsam and Jetsam, and they provided a great deal of menace. And Abby Meola was delightfully wicked as Ursusla. She even frightened Tabby once or twice with her outbursts.
I was so delighted with this production that I can’t wait to see what they do next semester. When I told Tabby that they do two shows a year she was horrified–only two a year! That’s a pretty great rave.