Wilde Lake principal to take on new role in 'Gypsy'

March 10, 1994|By Rona Hirsch | Rona Hirsch,Contributing Writer

You got to have a gimmick.

That advice is given by three strippers to the young novice Louise in the musical "Gypsy" before she is about to take her first walk onstage.

The same advice could have been given to Bonnie Daniel, principal of Wilde Lake High School.

She has good-naturedly accepted a walk-on role as a stripper in the school's production of "Gypsy" at 8 p.m. today through Saturday.

As "Ms. Wilde Lake, the Unknown Stripper," Ms. Daniel will sashay in, say her one line and sashay out.

"The kids will definitely see a different side of the principal," Ms. Daniel said. "That's OK. Principals are human; they do different things other than sit behind a desk. It doesn't bother me, it's been a source of great humor."

Director Tracy Adler, school drama teacher, first suggested Ms. Daniel take on the role at a faculty party last year.

The director contemplated giving the roles of the three strippers to herself, music director Sandra Adkins and choreographer Kathleen Leatherwood. She then jokingly offered Ms. Daniel a cameo as a stripper.

"So many times over the years [Ms. Daniel] said, 'if you ever had a part for me. . . ,' " said Ms. Adler. "I joked, 'we have this part for you.' "

After the director decided to give all the roles to the students, she brought up the idea again to Ms. Daniel.

"Bonnie said, 'hey, this could be fun,' and I said, 'you got it,' " Ms. Adler said.

Students are accustomed to seeing their principal "in other than principal garb," said Ms. Daniel, who is 52. During School Spirit Week in the fall, she dressed for " '50s Day" and "Teen Day."

For "Gypsy," Ms. Daniel, who has been principal of Wilde Lake High for seven years, will be costumed in the school colors, green and gold. She will be wearing, among other things, a cape and turban.

"Needless to say, I'm appropriately covered," she said.

Though this will be Ms. Daniel's world debut as an actress, she doesn't plan to give up her day job.

"I think it will be very clear that the stage is not the place where I will be," she said.

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