Thursday, December 4, 2008

LCHS Musical Selection Committee Meets, Discusses Choices

Members of the Lewis Central International Thespian Society's Musical Selection Committee met on Thursday, December 4, 2008 and began discussing and listening to samples from five of the finalists for this year's musical.

Please check out the five musicals discussed in the meeting. Stay tuned for more details.

GYPSY--click here to access show information

The story starts in Seattle with stage mother, Rose, pushing her two daughters into Uncle Jocko's Kiddie Show. June, her mother feels, is the most likely to become a star. Louise is plainer and quieter; she stands meekly in her sister's shadow. A new act called 'Baby June and her Newsboys' is conceived by Rose, and the family is off to the 'big time' in Los Angeles. The act steeped in star spangled banners, dancing horses (Louise plays the rear end), and screaming newsboys moves to Dallas, Akron, New York, Buffalo and Omaha. Along the way Rose meets Herbie, a theatrical agent, and hires him as manager. He makes himself father to the troupe, sharing with them their meals of chow mein, Rose's favorite food. Rose scrimps as she schemes and scrambles for bookings and billings to maintain their hand to mouth existence. She sleeps her charges six in a dingy hotel room and makes their costumes from hotel blankets. Her object is to make her two penniless girls into world stars. The girls begin to grow up and the act becomes 'Dainty June and her Newsboys.' Unfortunately its quality does not improve. Bookings are cancelled and the act moves on.

Louise wishes that Momma would marry a plain man so they could settle down. Herbie proposes but is rejected. June elopes with Tulsa, one of the boys in the act. Rose sets out to make Louise into the star. She bursts into new enthusiasm with the rousing number Everything's Coming Up Roses. Behind Rose lies a worrying sense of doom; a feeling that she never will fulfill her dream of stardom for her girls because it is really a dream of stardom for herself.

Finally the troupe reaches the bottom, a burlesque house in Wichita. Rose laments that she would rather starve than perform there. Louise realizes there is no vaudeville left except for burlesque. Here the clumsy Louise shoots into stardom by becoming something different: a ladylike stripper. Three strippers dressed respectively in a ballet costume, a trumpet and well placed electric light bulbs are used in a most exaggerated, but very funny number, You Gotta Get a Gimmick, to indicate the difference between the usual brassy stripper and the very elegant Louise. At last Louise breaks away from her mother and goes out on her own as Gypsy Rose Lee.

Rose bursts into the plaintive Rose's Turn in which she sings of her suppressed talents that she has sacrificed to further the careers of her unappreciative daughters.

ONCE ON THIS ISLAND--click here to access show information

Listen to samples of the music from ONCE ON THIS ISLAND

This highly original and theatrical Caribbean adaptation of the popular fairy tale “The Little Mermaid” sings and dances the story of Ti Moune, the black peasant girl who rescues, nurses and falls in love with Daniel, a mulatto from a wealthy family. When Daniel is returned to his people, the gods who rule the island guide Ti Moune on a quest to test the strength of her love against the powerful forces of prejudice, hatred and death.

“Once On This Island” is a director/choreographer’s dream, an intimate show presented in a dance/movement-driven style reminiscent of story theatre, with a small band and minimal – though colorful – sets and costumes that capture the imagination of the audience. Its catchy, contemporary, and Caribbean-flavored score by the Tony® Award-winning songwriting team of Lynn Ahrens and Stephen Flaherty (“Ragtime” and the animated film “Anastasia”) includes tender ballads and rousing celebratory numbers for an ensemble cast of strong singers.

Optional text substitutions from the authors allow “Once On This Island” to be performed in the amateur market by actors of any race, making the minimal production requirements of this moving, uplifting show even more flexible.

To order vocal selections and other musical collections by Lynn Ahrens and Stephen Flaherty, visit their website at!

To find out how to order CDs in bulk quantity for resale purposes, contact the Marketing Department at MTI via email at

Opened 10/18/1990 Ran for 469 performances.

A rattling good time! A carnival of swirling rhythm. Delightful." - New York Post

"Explodes with music and motion! The best musical of the season!"
- Associated Press

"Rousing, musical theatre! Everyone is likely to emerge from the theatre ready to dance down the street" - The New York Times"

PIPPIN--click here to access show information

Listen to samples of the music from PIPPIN.

Once upon a time, the young prince Pippin longed to discover the secret of true happiness and fulfillment. He sought it in the glories of the battlefield, the temptations of the flesh and the intrigues of political power (after disposing of his father King Charlemagne the Great). In the end, he found it in the simple pleasures of home and family.

This hip, tongue-in-cheek, anachronistic fairy tale captivated Broadway audiences and continues to appeal to the young at heart everywhere (the show has become a staple on high school and college campuses). The energetic pop-influenced score by three-time Oscar®-winning composer/lyricist Stephen Schwartz (“Godspell,” “Children of Eden” and the animated films “Pocahontas,” “The Hunchback Of Notre Dame” and “The Prince Of Egypt”) bursts with one showstopping number after another, from soaring ballads to infectious dance numbers.

Featuring a strong ensemble cast and a show-stealing song-and-dance narrator, “Pippin” is equally effective as an intimate, black-box production (as envisioned by the authors) or as original director/choreographer Bob Fosse’s splashy, dance-driven spectacle, which included some of the most brilliant staging in Broadway history.

Opened 10/23/1972 Ran for 1944 performances.

Beguiling, highly original and...just plain wonderful!" - Boston Globe

"Extraordinary music theatre!" - Daily News

"Splendiferous theatricality, the kick of a lighting bolt and a passionate knack for being entertaining." -Time Magazine

The Wiz--click here to access show information

The New Musical Version of The Wonderful Wizard of Oz by L. Frank Baum. Book by William F. Brown. Music and Lyrics by Charlie Smalls.

11 principals, various small parts, singers and dancers.

Var. sets.

Dorothy's adventures in the Land of Oz have been set to music in a dazzling, lively mixture of rock, gospel and soul music. Everybody knows the story, but now it's a new fantasy for today-- mysterious, opulent and fanciful.

"Radiates so much energy you can hardly sit in your seat . . . great fun."-- N.Y. Post.

"A continuous festival of movement ... splendid character songs."-- WWD. "A carnival of fun ... wickedly amusing show."-- Time.

"A virtual musical circus ... driving rhythms, soaring songs ... boisterous, exuberant."--

THE WIZARD OF OZ--click here to access show information

Little Dorothy Gale of Kansas, like so many girls her age, dreams of what lies over the rainbow. One day a twister hits her farm and carries her away over the rainbow to another world. Come join Dorothy, the Scarecrow, the Tinman, the Cowardly Lion and Toto as they travel the universe of Dorothy's imagination.

There are two versions of THE WIZARD OF OZ. Both include the songs Over The Rainbow, Munchkinland (Ding Dong! The Witch Is Dead), If I Only Had A Brain, If I Only Had A Heart, If I Only Had The Nerve , We're Off To See The Wizard (Follow The Yellow Brick Road), The Jitterbug, and The Merry Old Land of Oz. The MUNY version has Evening Star. The RSC version also includes Poppies (Optimistic Voices) and If I Were King Of The Forest.
The MUNY version is the more theatrically conservative and employs its stage, actors, singers, dancers and musicians in traditional ways to tell Mr. Baum's story. The story and the music are treated by the adapters as elements of a classic stage musical without reference to their use in the film.

The RSC version is a more technically complex production and uses as much of the aura of the film as is possible to create in a modern theatre. It is an adaption for live stage performance, even while it strives to look and sound just like the famous film, in telling the story. There is more work for the SATB chorus and small vocal ensembles in the music material for the RSC version.

Put a smile on everyone's face with THE WIZARD OF OZ!


A version of WIZARD OF OZ based on the motion picture was presented with book adaptations by Frank Gabrielson by the Municipal Theatre of St. Louis in 1945. A second version with book adaptations by John Kane follows the famous motion picture even more closely and was presented by the Royal Shakespeare Company at the Barbican Centre in London in 1988.


Dorothy Gale, a young girl who lives on a farm in Kansas with her Aunt Em and Uncle Henry, gets in the way while the adults try to work. She finds a quiet place where she won't get into any trouble -Over The Rainbow. The girl is upset because their mean neighbor, Miss Gulch, presents her with a Sheriff's summons for her cherished dog, Toto. Toto escapes from Miss Gultch's bicycle basket and joins Dorothy as she runs away from the farm. They meet up with kind Professor Marvel, who convinces her to go back home. A cyclone hits the area, and Dorothy and Toto are locked out of the family's storm cellar. They go into her room in the house, where Dorothy is accidently hit on the head. This begins their journey to the Land of Oz.
When she wakes up in Oz, Dorothy is greeted by Glinda, the Witch of the North (who has an uncanny resemblance to Aunt Em.) Upon landing, Dorothy's house inadvertently lands on and fatally strikes the Wicked Witch of the East. This frees the Munchkins from the Wicked Witch of the East's power, so they now consider Dorothy their heroine -Ding Dong! The Witch Is Dead & Munchkin Musical Sequence. The Wicked Witch of the West (Miss Gulch) comes to avenge her sister's death and to claim her sister's magic ruby slippers, only to find that Glinda has already put them on Dorothy's feet. The Wicked Witch of the West has a new challenge - to get those slippers for herself. Dorothy wants to go back home to Kansas, but the Munchkins tell her the only one who may help her get back home is the Wizard of Oz. So Dorothy is off to see the Wizard -Yellow Brick Road.

Along the way she meets three new friends and travel companions. The Scarecrow (Hunk, the first of Uncle Henry's farmhands) explains why he needs to see the Wizard in If I Only Had A Brain. The Tinman (Hickory) joins them because his life would be better If I Only Had A Heart and the Lion (Zeke) comes along -If I Only Had The Nerve. All four sing We're Off To See The Wizard.

The Wicked Witch of the West makes her second unsuccessful attempt to get Dorothy's ruby slippers when Dorothy is with the Scarecrow and the Tinman. But she fails to scare them. Her next plan includes the Lion, and involves a beautiful field of poppies with a poisonous scent. Glinda rescues the travelers by turning the poppies into snowflakes -Poppies.

Our travelers arrive at the Emerald City to be discouraged from entering by the Gatekeeper (Uncle Henry). He finally lets them in -Merry Old Land Of Oz. Before they are allowed to meet the Wizard, the travelers must be cleaned up by the Osians. Even after they prepare for the meeting, the Wizard refuses to meet them. The Wicked Witch appears again. The lion fantasizes in King Of The Forest. The guard finally brings them to the Wizard, but the four friends must prove themselves worthy of the Wizard's help by bringing him the Wicked Witch of the West's broomstick. The only way to get her broomstick would be to kill her. So off the foursome goes, to the land of the Winkies (the Wicked Witch's slaves) and the Wicked Witch's castle.

The group is in the haunted forest filled with jitterbugs that spook them. The jitterbugs make them dance until they all collapse from exhaustion - Jitterbug and then the Wicked Witch's flying monkeys swoop down and capture Dorothy and Toto. At the castle the Wicked Witch again fails to take the ruby slippers off Dorothy's feet, so threatens Dorothy with her life. Toto manages to escape. The Lion, Scarecrow and Tinman recover from the poppies' scent, and make it to the castle to rescue Dorothy. Toto meets them at the entrance, and they sneak in, wearing Winkie uniforms, as part of the Winkie army. The foursome and Toto are reunited, but the Wicked Witch prevents their escape. The Wicked Witch becomes even meaner and threatens the Scarecrow with fire on her broomstick. Dorothy throws a bucket of water at the fire and ends up dousing the Wicked Witch. The Wicked Witch screams, smoulders and shrinks. She melts into nothing. -Ding Dong The Witch Is Dead (reprise). The foursome take the broom back to the Wizard.

The Wizard is again reluctant to see the travelers, but Toto playfully pulls aside the curtain that separates the Wizard from them. An ordinary man (Professor Marvel) speaking into a microphone is revealed. As the Wizard he performs graduation exercises, giving the Scarecrow a Dr. of Thinkology, making the Lion a member of the Legion of Courage and giving the Tinman a heart-shaped watch. He offers to take Dorothy back to Kansas in his hot-air balloon. The balloon accidently takes off without Dorothy and Toto, but Glinda saves the day. She explains to Dorothy that all this time, Dorothy has had the power herself to go home. All she has to do is close her eyes, tap her heels together three times and repeat to herself "there's no place like home."
Back in Kansas the storm is over. Dorothy wakes up confused, with a bump on her head. She and Toto were not the only ones who had an adventure during the storm. Miss Gulch was hit by a telegraph pole and broke her leg. At least Miss Gulch won't be bothering Toto for a while. Dorothy appreciates her family and friends even more than ever.

Students narrowed the first list of five to three titles: The Wiz, Pippin and Once on this Island. Please see one of the members of the musical selection committee: Cami Cortney, Molly Cox, Blake DeForest, Hannah Jacoby, Katie Jacoby, Taylor Kuhn, Jenna Ladd, Kelsey Moore, Maddie Overholtzer, Ben Rausch, Matt Sharp

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