7/8 MUSICAL ANNOUNCEMENT
September 21, 2011
To the 7th and 8th graders:
I'm happy to say that Vicki Gohl has written a wonderfully original musical theater piece for our 7th and 8th grade spring musical entitled Happy Together. It is based on the characters and plot of Shakespeare's As You Like It with favorite, golden songs from the 60's.
When Vicki and I decided to work together on this project we put together a team of people to consider the idea and help us decide if it was the right choice for all of you.
This summer, the musical team got together for a read and sing thru of the script and songs. Present were:
Vicki Gohl Director
Alli Lubin Producer and Music Director
Teese Gohl Piano, Band Arrangements, Music Supervisor
Jared Stolper Vocal Teacher
Mark Grieco, Valerie Kosednar, Lisa Stolper Vocal Assistance
Barbara Hunter & Austin Hunter Advisors
Lora Lubin Interested Parent!
JaJa Laughlin Interested Parent
Lucie Foster Interested Student
Also on the team, as advisors, are Billy Straus and Rebecca Waxman.
As a result of that gathering, I'm convinced that Vicki’s play is the right choice for our 2012 TGS Spring Musical.
The major reasons are:
SHAKESPEARE: This is an excellent opportunity to learn about the source and understand the themes of one of Shakespeare's great Comedies. Shakespeare at TGS is a wonderful ongoing tradition and this is a perfect way for everyone in the community to enjoy it together. As You Like It is funny, romantic, easy to understand, and lovable!
PERSONAL: Its written for TGS and for you with special details about the woods of Putney and certain characters you will recognize from our history.
PERFORMING A NEW WORK - New plays or musicals are always works in progress. The students will have a great hand in "forming" this piece. After all, any play is more than just the words on a page. The stage directions and descriptions in any published play come from the "first production" - how will you see 'the procession', 'the wrestling match', the banquet...it will be exciting to see what they come up with. We have flexibility because we created it - things could change quite a lot if we want them to.
GREAT SONGS - The music is well chosen. It will be fun, with many wonderful solos, juicy parts, great harmonies, and important songs for you to know. An important reason to do this play is to perpetuate some really great classic songs and its great that you will know them and 'own' them. Vicki worked hard to choose songs that were not only appropriate in terms of content, but are singable and will offer you exciting and challenging performance opportunities.
MANY VARIED ROLES – the distribution of solos and stage time has been more equalized, so the weight of the parts is spread out with most of the leads having a song, larger parts made smaller, and smaller roles expanded.
CIRCUS ARTS – Knowing of your interest and talents in dance and circus arts, we are planning a Performance Troupe to be featured and the beginning, middle and end of the show in the big production numbers.
SPEECHES - This adaptation has some real meaty speeches in it. These are a challenge, but well worth it for each student that takes it on. Speaking clearly and with meaning is a critical skill to master, but it is much more fun to master this skill in the body of a play than in a speech class! Few musicals have such big speeches for as many different characters as this piece.
COSTUME OPPORTUNITIES: Each of the sheep in the Sheep Chorus will design their own costume.
FUN FACTOR – It’s always fun to do a show and the kids get a lot out of it, but after three years backstage watching them sing and dance, I am pretty clear what 'floats their boats.' I think the kids will love this and that it will engage them on many levels.
GOHL FAMILY CELEBRATION - For years, Teese and Vicki Gohl have participated in our 7/8 spring musical as Pianist/Band Leader and Backstage Manager. This is their graduation year with Rudi and it will be a great celebration. We are so fortunate to have this opportunity to "do it their way!"
GIFT TO TGS: What really compelled Vicki to write this play was our 50th Anniversary and the idea of creating something for the school. I could see it and hear it in my head!
Vicki Gohl (in black)
Alli Lubin (in blue)