Grand Forks Central High School’s production of “The Drowsy Chaperone” is a show within a show, said Paul Barta, the director.
The final performance, dubbed “a musical within a comedy,” begins at 7 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 22, in the school’s auditorium.
The play has “a very fun, unique premise,” said Barta, describing a lead character who guides the audience through one of his favorite musical records.
“He takes out ‘The Drowsy Chaperone’ and puts it on the record player, and the scenes and the songs are acted out in his apartment. He will stop the record and give some information about the characters or the scene.”
Barta selected the play because it offers many opportunities for students in leading roles and ensembles, he said.
“It is full of humor and fun, exciting musical numbers. It’s borderline ridiculous and essentially a farce on musicals," Barta said of leading characters who perform “bigger than life and go beyond what a typical lead role would entail."
“It is a stretch for kids to let themselves go in that way," he said.
The physical movements, which are “big and difficult,” and the songs in the ensemble numbers “are designed for professionals, so it is hard,” he said. “We are asking students, whose voices are still growing, to learn this difficult music (and) they have to move and dance and act at the same time. It is cool to see the whole cast work hard and be successful with all of these tough tasks. If you really dig deep, you realize how impressive it really is.”
The play is “very entertaining in so many ways,” Barta said, noting that the audience will enjoy “the unique premise, the humor, the characters, the music, the set, the lighting and so much more.”
Cast members include Oliver Wolfe, Rachel Craig, Isaac Barta, Lizzy Pollot, Lucas Tande, Zoe Johnson, Jonathan Sheard, Gabriel Randall, Sadie Rygh, Timmy Hennessy, Zoe Jiran, Grace Carl, Silje Kindseth, Reagan Fontaine, Taylor Kiley, Allanah Mullenbach, Josie Walz and Evan Ingle.
The ensemble includes Hannah Bensley, Nora Berry, Sapphire Boehm, Ilaria Cantiello, Bella Costa, Jonathan Dawes, Julia Dawes, Cierra Dixon, Abigail Fevig, Matthew Garnett, Payton Goulet, Clara Green, Ceallan Hunter, Kaylee Kirkeby, Sydney Kouba, Nora Lee, Reyna Lindquist, Gabrielle Luker, Emily Oldham, Grace Pawlewicz, London Perez, Sofia Ramirez, Jillian Riley, Quinlan Schudrowitz, Carter Schmisek, Blake Storbakken, Hope Stramer, Abigail Sundine, Brigitte Toumou, Lucy Welsh and Irene Zeng.
Crew members are Jordan Bowman, Kylee Sanders, Tyller Mozinski, Alex Vashus, Hunter Capouch, Jackson Lee, Carter Elde, Annika Green, Aislyn McDaniel, Sophia Pringle, Kaitlin Twedell and Howard Parkes.
Pit musicians are Geoff Mercer, Roxanne Gessler, Matt Sebald, Emma Rudow, Dakota Sims, Greta Nelson, Sarah Harlow, Kai Zahui, Kenzie Carriere, Bryce Bushee, Joey Olson, Mikayla Weiss, Kaden Knabe, Gabby Campani, Haley Jorgenson, Elias David-Schill, Tommy Hoffarth, Alejandro Puckett and Leah Brooks.
Tickets are $10 for adults and $6 for students and senior citizens.
For reservations, call (701) 746-2411 or go online to www.spacompany.org.