School's music revival makes good old days even better


February 24, 2000|By Joni Guhne | Joni Guhne,SPECIAL TO THE SUN

SEVERNA PARK HIGH School is preparing a show that has become something of a tradition -- its Rock 'n' Roll Revival XI, celebrating the music of the 1950s and 1960s.

Tickets for the nostalgic blending of song and dance are on sale in the school lobby during lunch periods (about 10: 30 a.m., 11: 30 a.m. and 12: 30 p.m.), and from 6: 30 p.m. to 8 p.m. weekdays.

Every March, for more than a decade, the school's students, alumni and teachers have wowed audiences with their version of what life was like in the "good old days."

Everyone has his or her idea of what constitutes "good" or "old," and what it takes to make each of us feel nostalgic. For some, that yearning is present in the sentiment of soldiers departing for World War II singing, "I'll Be Seeing You."

For others, the memory is more recent -- in typical 2000 simplicity, a somewhat similar emotion is provoked by 'N Sync's "Bye, Bye, Bye."

My parents probably wouldn't have agreed, but I said it then, and I say it now: Thank God for rock 'n' roll.

The high school show will have six performances: 8 p.m. March 10, 11, 17 and 18; a 3 p.m. matinee March 12; and a 7: 30 p.m. show March 16.

The setting for this year's production -- "a lavish ballroom" -- conjures memories of proms and sock hops, of cotillions and dancing till dawn. Such social events from high school and college remain fresh in the mind decades after bobby socks have been reduced to polishing cloths.

Nostalgia is part of the show's appeal, but there is much more. While the cast members will have fun reinventing the music of their parents, the parents and the audience will be amazed at the level of talent being demonstrated.

All the music -- vocal and instrumental -- is live.

Severna Park High guidance counselor Sam Scalzi, who has supervised all 11 revivals, is again the show's producer. "Usually a few super-talented performers sing several parts," says Scalzi, "but there is so much talent to go around this year, we have over 30 different students and alumni singing different leads. The talent is spread out among sophomores, juniors and seniors all singing leads."

Also returning for the 11th year, as technical director, is Severna Park graduate Gary Tawes.

Kevin Wheatley, thespian and father of Severna Park High graduates, returns as director.

Wheatley, whose credits include playing Daddy Warbucks in the Annapolis Summer Garden Theatre version of "Annie" and directing productions there, established the tradition of musical theater at Severna Park Middle School when he introduced Broadway musicals to children there.

Assisting Wheatley are two student directors, senior Matt Hutchison and sophomore Meredith Snyder.

Directing the band is Severna Park graduate Colin McGough, a Towson University alumnus who teaches guitar and bass.

Performers will be dancing the choreographed steps of Julia Weber and Colette Shrimpton, both Severna Park High graduates who work at the Mary Carter School of Dance in Severna Park and Arnold. Both young women graduated from college with degrees in dance: Weber from the University of Maryland, College Park and Shrimpton from Towson.

Rehearsal coordinator is alumna and foreign language faculty member Angie Germanos, a theatrical standout at the school in the 1970s.

Starring this year will be faculty members Pete Cullens, a math teacher, assistant athletic director and alumnus; Sue Peterson Chittum, another graduate and math teacher; drama coach Doug Kotula; and football coach J.P. Hines. Other faculty members make cameo appearances.

Returning as lead singers are seniors Corrine Becker, Andrew Davidsburg, Geoff Goldsmith, Matt Hutchison, Jessica Hyman, Kathleen Keck, Allison McCarthy, Aimee Molineaux and Tahirah Pennyman.

Seniors making their debut in lead roles are Derek Dixon, Nathan Gray, Doug Hoffman, Jennifer Launse and Jason Scott.

Others singing lead roles for the first time, from lower grades, are Dillon Babington, Krista Fisher, Lindsay Ingle, Phil Jackson, Chris Janicki, Marissa Morris-Jones and Brian Wilbur.

Making a second appearance in lead roles are juniors Brianne Cobuzzi and Lauren Simmett, and sophomore Meredith Snyder.

Information: 410-544-0900.

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