Heritage Heights cruising back to the 50s

Arts: Rock ‘n’ roll ausical ‘Hot Rod’ opens April 10-11

By: John Barlow

  |  Posted: Friday, Mar 28, 2014 03:23 pm

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Greasers, malt shops, hot rods and some good old fashioned rock ‘n’ roll will keep the audience bopping at the Heritage Heights School’s second annual senior musical which will be held April 10-11 at the school.

Teacher Sherene Schmidtler said there has been unprecedented interest from the students in their year’s musical and she attributed the enthusiasm to the fact the students were able to choose the piece themselves.

“We have a cast of 25 and a crew of 12 and pretty much an even split between boys and girls, which is unusual,” said Schmidtler. “The boys came out this year because of the theme. We have the Greasers and they liked the music. We have some students who are really excited about this musical.”

The musical “Hot Rod” is a blast to the past and centers around a girl named Peggy Sue who sheds her wrench monkey street racer past to go off to college. However, Peggy Sue is dragged back into the racing scene when her sister Betty Lou follows in her Greaser footsteps, but gets into trouble with a bookie.

In order to pay off her sister’s debt to the bookie Peggy Sue is forced to abandon the books and get back into the coveralls and race.

Of course, Peggy Sue is going to play by her rules.

Schmidtler said the students started participating in acting and singing workshops in September in preparation for the musical and rehearsals have been going steady since January. She said she is not surprised by the commitment from the students because they bought into “Hot Rod” as soon as they dropped the green flag.

“If you wanted to be in the play you get a part,” said Schmidtler. “These kids don’t have acting experience, there is no singing experience, but they have a voice in it because they picked it and they have more ownership in it.

“They decided this is the one they wanted because they liked the music,” she added. “When we needed them to dance like Elvis off they went — they did their research and they made it happen. I think they went home and watched some 50s videos.”

They likely hounded their parents — or in some cases their grandparents — for advice on soda shops, sock hops and James Dean.

Regardless of where they did their research, their teacher has been impressed with the students’ ability to flashback to the 50s.

“This has been fun right from the beginning,” said Schmidtler.

The beginning is now the end as the Heritage Heights School’s annual senior musical will be held April 10 and 11 at 7 p.m. at the school. Tickets are $10 for adults and $5 for students. They can be purchased in advance at the school or at the door.

There is also a full dress rehearsal on April 9 at 1 p.m. for the other students in the school.


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