BERLIN — Students at McGee Middle School are stepping back to 1959 to perform the musical “Curtains.”
“This is definitely different than my usual role,” said Emily Roche, an eighth- grader at McGee. “It’s something new.”
Roche plays Georgia Hendricks, a lead character. Like her classmates in the play, Roche was wearing a 1950’s-inspired costume Monday during a dress rehearsal.
“Normally I do not get big lead roles,” Roche said of the part.
Her character, Hendricks, ends up taking on a bigger role when she is cast as the leading lady after the star of the musical “Robbin’ Hood,” within the musical “Curtains,” drops dead. From there it’s up to the “Robbin’ Hood” cast to figure out who killed the star.
“Curtains was on Broadway in 2007, so it's a newer show with a vintage feel,” said Katie Desjardins, musical director. “I really wanted the kids to get the chance to sink their teeth into some really great characters this year.”
Over 40 student actors are part of the musical this month. Students will perform around 15 songs, including solos and group numbers. There are also about 10 students in the stage crew.
“It’s so exciting and different,” said Meredith Beers, an eighth-grader.
“The harmonies can get a little hard, but once you start practicing and working on it you get it down,” added Katie Terlecky, also an eighth-grader.
The classmates are both in the number “What Kind of Man,” in which cast members of “Robbin’ Hood” sing about a poor review in the newspaper.
“Memorizing all the lines, because I have the most lines,” said Simon Narel, an eighth grader, when asked about the most difficult part of the musical.
Narel plays Lt. Frank Cioffi, a police detective who tries to solve the murder of the “Robbin’ Hood” star while also becoming involved in the show.
“I felt this was the perfect musical to showcase their various talents in singing, acting, and dancing,” Desjardins said. “I know our audience will have as much fun watching it as we've had in rehearsal.”
Performances will be Friday, March 16, at 7 p.m., and Saturday, March 17, at 2 and 7 p.m.
Tickets are available at www.ticketsource.us/mcgee or at the door.