Students getting a kick out of Fosse musical


April 12, 2002|By Lesa Jansen | Lesa Jansen,SPECIAL TO THE SUN

A FULL-SCALE, Broadway-inspired dance musical is on stage this weekend and next at South Carroll High School.

South Carroll Stagelighters will present Neil Simon's Sweet Charity at 7:30 tonight and tomorrow, and April 19 and 20 in the school's auditorium.

"This is a big dance musical," said Bobbie James, director. It "is an offbeat musical of the '60s about an eternal optimist always looking for love despite repeated disappointment."

James noted, "It's kind of a challenge to choose a play that's appropriate for high school while at the same time, as a drama teacher, I also look for quality material. I try to [complement] the talent pool I have, and I knew I had a lot of talented dancers."

Senior Jen Klem stars as title character Charity Hope Valentine, and choreographed the production.

"It's a Bob Fosse show, and he's got big shoes to fill," Jen said. "I most wanted to be able to get across his style. He focuses more on sharp movements [in dance routines] as opposed to big ones."

Jen choreographed more than 20 dancers in the show's biggest chorus number. The Taylorsville resident will major in dance when she enters college in the fall and hopes to perform and choreograph on Broadway.

A cast and crew of up to 100 have been planning and rehearsing since January.

Students have built sets, coordinated costumes and addressed lighting and technical challenges.

"Sweet Charity is set in the '60's, so we had to keep that period in mind," said James. "I'd say the sets are representative of Laugh-in or Yellow Submarine, with day-glo graphics."

This is James' fourth year directing dramatic productions at South Carroll. She became interested in theater as a child, performing in regional dinner theater productions. Originally a musical theater major in college, she changed to teaching.

"I wanted to be able to bring to kids the joy that I had in my youth," she said.

Tickets for Sweet Charity are $5 and available at the door. The box office will open at 7 p.m. before each performance.

The school is at 1300 W. Old Liberty Road, Winfield. Information: 410-751-3575.

Mount Airy cleanup

It's spring cleanup time in Mount Airy this weekend.

Mount Airy Jaycees sponsor the annual event, during which town residents may take unwanted items to large bins in the municipal parking lot off Park Avenue.

Hours are from 10 a.m. to noon tomorrow.

Cans of paint or hazardous materials will not be accepted.

People must show proof of town residency, such as a driver's license or water bill, to drop off items.

Open house

Mount Airy Senior Center will hold an open house from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Tuesday.

Senior citizens are invited to tour the facility and learn about available activities, including dancing; classes in tai chi, Spanish, drawing and painting; movies and games; and lunch daily.

The center is at 705 Ridge Ave. Information: 301-829-2407 or 410-795-1017.

Basket bingo

Longaberger baskets are the bingo prizes at 7 p.m. tomorrow at Mount Airy Middle School.

Twenty games of basket bingo will be offered. The event is sponsored by the school's PTSO.

Tickets will be available at the door for $15.

The school is at 102 Watersville Road. Information: 410- 875-2352.

Lesa Jansen's Southwest neighborhood column appears each Friday in the Carroll County edition of The Sun.

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