Local musicals span the decades

‘Happy Days,’ ‘Footloose’ and ‘High School Musical’ showing at local schools

By: Kristyne E. Demske | St. Clair Shores Sentinel | Published March 16, 2015


ST. CLAIR SHORES — All the world’s a stage, and local thespians are taking advantage of it this month, putting on three different musical productions.

The Lakeview Community Musical kicked off this month with “Happy Days: A New Musical,” with a cast ranging in age from as young as 8 into their 70s. Lakeview Community Musicals are open to all students in grades 4-12 in the district or the parochial schools in the district boundaries, as well as alumni, faculty and their families, and anyone living in the district boundaries.

This year’s show was chosen to have wide-ranging appeal, said director Louise Veltri.

“We’ve done a lot of fairy tale-themed shows the last few years,” she said. “I wanted to do something that had more of a real-world feel.”

The show is written by Garry Marshall, who wrote all 11 seasons of the TV show, as well.

“It’s a lot more innocent and a lot of fun. There’s a lot of reference to all the episodes,” she said. “The music is all original except for the theme song; it’s the TV theme song.”

The live pit band is made up of current and former Lakeview students, as well, Veltri said.

“Happy Days: A New Musical” opened March 13 and 14 but also has 7:30 p.m. performances March 20 and 21 at Schaublin Auditorium at Lakeview High School, 21100 E. 11 Mile Road. Tickets are $12 for adults and $9 for students and senior citizens. The box office opens each night at 6:30 p.m. There will be dancers entertaining in the lobby at 7:10 and a children’s chorus performance at 7:20 before the curtain goes up for the show at 7:30.

Proceeds from the ticket sales go to the Lakeview School District Summer Scholarship Enrichment Program.

At Lake Shore High School, they’ve “gotta cut loose” with a production of “Footloose” at 7:30 p.m. March 26-28, and also at 1 p.m. March 28.

Matthew Smith, director of choirs and director of the musical, said anyone can relate to “Footloose” as they deal with change in their lives.

And, he said, “it’s set in the ’80s. Who does not love the ’80s?”

“You’re going to recognize a lot of the songs in the show, a lot of ’80s pop-ballad, pop-rock kind of stuff,” he added.

The cast is comprised of Lake Shore High School students, and Smith said he was able to find “perfect kids for all the roles.”

“It just seemed like it was a perfect fit, and it really has been,” he said. “It’s great to support the kids in all their hard work. It’s a great two-and-a-half hours where people can relax, laugh, enjoy the music, enjoy the acting.”

Tickets are $10 for adults and $7 for students and seniors. The box office, at 22980 E. 13 Mile Road, opens at 6 p.m. for the evening performances or at 12 p.m. for the matinee performances.

Later that weekend, South Lake High School will bring teenage angst into this century with its production of “High School Musical” at 7 p.m. March 27 and 28.

“It’s a show that’s really indicative of their age group, as opposed to doing something like ‘My Fair Lady,’” said director Arlene Schoenherr. “They are excited about doing it.

“They’re focusing right now on the music, on the singing and the dancing. I am doing lines, I am doing blocking, but they have to do a lot of work on their own because there’s so much singing and dancing. We have to take more time on that than we would normally take.”

Schoenherr said the students have seen the Disney movie so much that they constantly remind her how characters ought to act in the production.

“They know it. They probably know the show better than I know the show,” she joked.

Doors open at the high school auditorium, 21900 E. Nine Mile Road, at 6:30 p.m. Tickets are $12 for adults, $10 for senior citizens, and $7 for students and children.