High school musical to pay parody tribute to '70s


March 29, 2002|By Peg Adamarczk | Peg Adamarczk,SPECIAL TO THE SUN

A GROUP of hard-working teen-agers at Northeast High School has been preoccupied over the past three months, honing disco moves, learning dialogue and preparing for the Dionysus Club's spring production of Friday Knight Fever, a musical comedy tribute to the 1970s.

The musical joyfully parodies a time when mood rings and Magic Eight Balls revealed the wisdom of the world, Women's Lib empowered a new generation and disco music reigned. "Disco is not dead at Northeast," said Martin Le- Francois, teacher and club sponsor.

Show time is 7 p.m. April 11, 12 and 13, with a matinee at 2 p.m. April 13 in the Eagles Auditorium. Admission is $5.

The Dionysus Club, under Le- Francois' firm guidance, has proved a bright light for stage-struck teen-agers with varying experience. After a slow start, the teacher has watched a dormant program transform into an active club with 50 members this year.

Sport is still king at Northeast, but interest in the stage continues to grow. "More than half of the club's membership this year are freshmen," LeFrancois said. "With more members, we can begin to think about mounting larger productions, giving more kids a chance to perform."

The spring production of Fever features the largest cast and crew - 34 - that the club has attempted. "This is a newly written, never-done-before production," LeFrancois said. "It has humorous dialogue, far-out musical numbers and original dance routines."

With music and dance playing an important role in the production, the club turned to several talented members to lend a hand. LeFrancois said Annie Bik, 18, and Zack Zhao, 17, are co-choreographers, planning all of the original dance routines; Patrick Herb, 17, has assumed vocal coach duties; and Daniel Cermak, 17, has provided the piano accompaniment during vocal rehearsal warm-ups.

"We keep getting better all the time, thanks to the students, the support of the faculty and, especially, the parents," LeFrancois said.

To boost attendance, the club is asking audience members to wear their 1970s finest and compete in a costume contest.

"It's a chance for the audience to make a fashion statement and show how "groovy" they are," Le- Francois said with a smile.

Information: 410-437-6400.

Easter Bunny at Safety Day

Orchard Beach Volunteer Fire Department is sponsoring its first Kid's Safety Day and Lunch with the Easter Bunny from noon to 4 p.m. tomorrow at the fire hall, 7549 Solley Road.

Jane Huffman, event organizer, said that it should be fun and informative for parents and kids. "Plus, it's free," she said.

Topics will include home safety, fire safety and aggressive driving. Participants include CSX railroad, Baltimore Gas and Electric Co., Maryland State Police, the county Health Department, Stoney Creek Hunting and Fishing Club, the Fort Meade Health Center, the Anne Arundel County Fire Department, the county Department of Education, the Sheriff's Department and Maryland Shock Trauma Center.

Hands-on demonstrations for kids will include a bike rodeo presented by the county Police Department, Buster the School Bus, the Fire Safety House and Grandma's House.

"We [are] urging kids to bring bikes and helmets to compete in the rodeo," Huffman said. "It should be a lot of fun and a learning experience."

The event will be held rain or shine.

Information: 410-255-0921.

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