Student Spotlight

Jessica Cabe
Fredi Young, a recent Coal Ridge High School graduate, plays Fizzy in "Bugsy Malone Jr.," which runs this weekend at the New Space Theatre at Spring Valley's CMC campus.
Jessica Cabe / Post Independent |

Fredi Young, a 17-year-old graduate from Coal Ridge High School, has been in musicals both in the community and through her school. She appears in this weekend’s production of “Bugsy Malone Jr.,” which plays at CMC’s New Space Theatre in Spring Valley.

Young is looking forward to attending college in Washington, D.C., and getting the big-city experience she’s always wanted. But before she heads off on her next big adventure, she told the Post Independent all about her love of performing arts.

Post Independent: Tell me about your role in ‘Bugsy Malone Jr.’

Fredi Young: I play the part of Fizzy in ‘Bugsy Malone.’ It is usually cast by a boy, but the show is very sparse on boys. She works for Fat Sam and just wants to preform. Throughout the show, she is constantly trying to get Fat Sam to listen to her audition to be put in his show. Sadly, she never gets her audition, but that doesn’t stop her from still preforming. She sings the song ‘Tomorrow,’ which captures her emotions of being turned away quite well.

PI: How did you get involved in this musical?

FY: I got involved in ‘Bugsy’ basically just by Jennetta [Howell, director] convincing me to. She was the choreographer for Coal Ridge’s spring musical, ‘Once Upon a Mattress,’ and she brought information about Bugsy Malone when that musical was drawing to a close. I wasn’t going to do it because the end of senior year is already stressful, but she convinced me that I should and that it would be worth it. So far, it definitely has been.

PI: Have you been in musicals in the past?

FY: Oh yes, I have done multiple musicals. They are so much fun; it’s so great to try and recreate this whole new story for the audience. I started shows with Jennetta actually, through Stage Door Theater Camp. I was in the first three shows put on by Stage Door, which were ‘Seussical,’ ‘Thoroughly Modern Millie’ and ‘Annie.’ Then, I participated in Defiance Community Theater’s production of ‘Beauty and the Beast,’ where I was a proud napkin and wolf. And lastly, as I mentioned earlier, I participated in Coal Ridge’s spring musical ‘Once Upon a Mattress,’ where I was Lady Rowena. My favorite role is definitely this one, playing Fizzy. It’s basically the biggest role I’ve ever had because I’ve never sang a whole song for an audience like I do in this show. Like Fizzy, I just want to show everyone what I can do because I don’t usually get the chance to.

PI: Are you involved in any other kinds of art?

FY: Preforming arts is basically all I do. I sing and have been a member of Coal Ridge’s Varsity Choir these past four years of high school. I have also been dancing since I was 3, most recently at the Glenwood Springs Center for the Arts in their companies. Sadly, I have had to put dancing on hold on account of all the musicals I have been taking up instead. And I have been doing some photography here and there, mostly just as a hobby as well as trying to get the best pictures from my travels (I travel, a lot). My pictures have definitely improved over the years, and I love it just to capture moments, smiles and places I may never have the chance to see again

PI: What’s been your favorite part of working on ‘Bugsy?’

FY: My favorite part of ‘Bugsy Malone’ is seeing all the younger kids step up to the plate and become truly great actors on the stage. Every day they amaze me with how talented they are and how much they can shine on the stage. They push me to try and be better because they are always full of energy and are becoming more able to transfer that energy into their acting. I feel like a proud mom watching these talented kids become someone else on the stage, which is hard to do for anyone.

PI: What’s been the biggest challenge of the production so far?

FY: The biggest challenge has been having to balance the musical and everything else that needed to get done for senior year. I was taking three AP classes and two CMC classes this past semester, so homework was always piling up. However, I had to be able to set it aside for a couple hours while rehearsal was going on, then still be able to finish it at a reasonable hour to get some sleep and start the madness all over the next day. I have also had to miss rehearsals for the Senior Seminar Project Presentations, National Honor Society induction ceremony, and my last ever choir concert. It’s hard to make up what I missed in the show, but I have somehow found a way to do it because here I am. It has also been difficult not being able to get there right when rehearsals started. They would usually start at 4 p.m., and that was a challenge because school didn’t get out until 4 p.m. So, I would show up the fastest I could get there, usually 4:30, and so I would basically just get thrown into the mix and hope I was picking up on what was going on.

PI: What are your plans now that you’ve graduated?

FY: Next year, I am attending George Mason University outside of Washington, D.C. I am so excited to move to a huge city; it has been a dream of mine my entire life. I am going in with an undecided major because I am still not exactly sure what I want to study. However, as of now, I’ve been leaning toward something in the medical field. I just have to figure out exactly what.

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