High school productions debut | PostIndependent.com

High school productions debut

Will Grandbois
Jed Stagg's Conrad Birdie gets plenty of attention.
Will Grandbois / Post Independent |

With high school productions debuting from Basalt to Parachute this weekend, it’s a great time for the community to support student creativity.

Grand Valley High School

A couple of familiar faces are preparing for their final bow at Grand Valley, where a large cast and a robust pit of musicians will tackle “Bye Bye Birdie.”

“We have a big community following for these kind of things,” director Cory Allen observed. “I think that’s important.”

The play takes inspiration from when Elvis Presley was drafted into the army in 1958.

“It’s a period piece based around the idea of sending off the pop star hero, and how things don’t necessarily go as planned,” Allen explained.

Jed Stagg plays Conrad Birdie, the Elvis inspired title character.

“His popularity is like Justin Beiber.– it’s all teenage girls. He has a real cocky attitude,” he said. “I have a lot of fun with it. You just gotta flip your hair and wink at girls.”

Stagg is a relative latecomer to the stage. After taking drama his junior year, he had a small part in the school’s fall play. He’s excited to tackle a lead before he moves on.

“It was a big jump,” he said. “It’s fun, though. I like having more lines.”

Litah Campbell, by contrast, has been performing in musicals at the school since she was in 6th grade.

“It was a place where I could use my skill without fear of judgment,” she said.

She’s glad to see younger students stepping up.

“We have a lot more underclassmen and middle schoolers involved,” she said. “That’s nice, because we need people to carry it on.”

Despite her experience, Campbell’s role as Rose Alvarez still has some challenges.

“It’s a little bit more adult that what we’ve done in the past, but it doesn’t go too far. She’s saucy. She’s independent and strong and knows how to get things done,” she said. “It can be difficult getting out of my comfort zone and not caring what anybody says.”

For his part, Jon Smith doesn’t have to stretch far to identify with his character. Albert Peterson spends the play split between a lucrative job in the music industry and a passion for teaching. Smith loves music and musicals, but plans to be a mechanical engineer.

“I’m involved in a lot of things, and sometimes I have to decide what I want,” he observed.

“Bye Bye Birdie” shows 7 p.m. March 10, 11, and 12 at Cardinal Hall. Despite supporting a self sustaining theater department, tickets are a reasonable $8 for general admission at the door or $5 in advance at 285-5705, with discounts for students, children, and seniors.

The Thursday performance is also preceded by a $35 five course dinner at 6 p.m..

“We encourage people to come and make an evening of it,” Allen said.

Rifle High School

In Agatha Christie’s classic whodunit “And Then There Were None,” find yourself small vacation home on a lonely island in the 1930’s. The night begins with an accusation, which turns to murder and one by one the guests are picked off, keeping the mystery until the very end.

The show runs March 10, 11, and 12 at 7 p.m.. Tickets are $10 for the general public with discounts for students, staff, and seniors and a $30 family rate.

Coal Ridge High School and Riverside Middle School

The timeless enchantment of a magical fairy tale is reborn with the Rodgers & Hammerstein hallmarks of originality, charm and elegance in “Cinderella.” As adapted for the stage, with great warmth and more than a touch of hilarity, the hearts of children and adults alike still soar when the slipper fits.

Shows take place March 10, 11, and 12 at 7 p.m at Riverside Middle School. Adult tickets run $8, students $5, and families $20.

Basalt High School

Another 50’s flashback, the Elvis Presley musical “All Shook Up” is led by Courtney Aitken (seen most recently in Theatre Aspen School’s “Dirty Rotten Scoundrels”), and Miguel Fabela. Marisa Post directs and choreographs, with Brittany Von Stein serving as musical director.

The comedic love story, inspired by and featuring Presley’s music, will play nightly at 7 p.m. March 10 through 12 with an additional 2 p.m. matinée on Saturday. All performances will be in the Basalt Middle School auditorium. Tickets are $8 for students and $12 for adults.

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