Coleytown Middle School students have lost their auditorium. But Coleytown Company — the school’s drama troupe — has not lost a step. In true theatrical fashion, the show must go on.
This spring’s production is “42nd Street.” Guest stars include Amiee Turner (who was in the original show) and Megan Osterhaus (who played Mary Poppins opposite Gavin Lee’s Bert on Broadway).
Coleytown Company director Ben Frimmer — who saw Lee in “Mary Poppins,” “SpongeBob SquarePants” and “The Grinch” — realized he’d be a great guest artist, to work with his middle school actors.
Osterhaus made the connection. Yesterday, the magic happened.
And — because the two middle schools are now one — Frimmer invited the Bedford acting troupe too. Over 140 students from both schools had a blast.
Many students seemed familiar with “Mary Poppins.” But they were gaga over the SpongeBob credit.
Lee passed out lyrics to that show’s opening song, and described the back story of the musical. Then he taught the words — and the intention behind them — to the song “Bikini Bottom Day.”
After the kids belted them out, Lee taught the choreography. Students spilled off the stage, onto the extension built for “42nd Street,” and into the aisles.
They took turns dancing and singing. They cheered each other on. They loved it.
Lee then discussed characters. Volunteers read a few scenes with the actor.
Next, he asked a group of “42nd Street” tappers to show him the opening number. He gave important feedback on performance and precision. They all listened intently.
The workshop ended with a Q-and-A. It might still be going, if Frimmer had not finally called a halt.
The young Coleytown and Bedford actors enjoyed the fun, educational afternoon.
They also enjoyed being one group. Two is indeed “company.”