“Oh, the things you can think, if you’re willing to try!” These words rang out after school last week, emitting from a large group of students sitting cross-legged on the Assembly Room stage. These cheerful singers, with thick scripts in their laps, were Middle School students from Classes 5, 6 and 7 who were actively preparing for their performance renditions of Seussical Jr.!
Acting musical director, Jeanai La Vita, a Manhattan School of Music teacher and performer, led the students through the number while pausing to aid them in changing pitch and to demonstrate how to place ‘S’ sounds on the downbeat of its following measure. Soloists and ensemble members alike sung heartily, their voices echoing throughout the room.
Following a few run-throughs and minor tweaks, the choral practice concluded and students gathered on stage to show off their dazzling dance moves. Each performer was engaged and energetic as she combined her new vocal techniques with the rhythm of the choreography. “Set to the clock!” chimed Ms. Lynette Engel, Class 7 Coordinator, English teacher, and in this case, choreographer, initiating the students to center themselves, as the clock is in the center of the Assembly Room. Raising their arms and twirling about, students danced across the stage, filling the room with laughter and song.
After the full ensemble rehearsal, the cast split up into specific groups. Some headed to the dance studio to work on smaller dance numbers while others stayed behind to rehearse choral melodies.
With a cast of 56 members, Seussical Jr. will produce a record-breaking number of participants! And, with the wonderful guidance of Ms. La Vita, Ms. Engel, Drama teacher, Lindsay Quinn (director) and Walter Aparicio (accompanist), the production will undoubtedly be a hit!
The rehearsal illustrated how passionate the young actors are about making Seussical Jr. great – and the fun they’re having while doing so. Opening night is set for Thursday, November 7th at 6 p.m. so mark your calendars to come support this talented cast.