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'Mary Poppins' debuts at Lakeridge High this week; LOHS students will perform 'The Drowsy Chaperone'

PHOTO COURTESY OF DAVID KINDER - Lake Oswego High's cast of 'The Drowsy Chaperone' poses in front of one of the most impressive parts of their set — an airplane that rises off the stage and carries students throughout the production.PHOTO COURTESY OF DAVID KINDER - Noah Kelly plays Aldapho in the LOHS production of 'The Drowsy Chaperone,' which will premiere on Nov. 9.November will be a busy month for high school drama enthusiasts, because both the Lakers and Pacers will be performing their fall musicals.

The curtain rises at 7 p.m. on Thursday for Lake Oswego High's interpretation of "The Drowsy Chaperone," a satirical musical based on an American comedy from the 1920s. At the same time, Lakeridge High students will unveil their production of "Mary Poppins," a timelessly entertaining classic.

There are six performances of each play, with the same dates and times for all performances. Shows will be at 7 p.m. on Nov. 9, 11, 16 and 18, with matinees at 2 p.m. on Nov. 11 and 18.

'The Drowsy Chaperone'

"The Drowsy Chaperone" will invite audiences to "journey into the roaring 20s" with a lively, hilarious musical featuring two lovers on the eve of their wedding, a bumbling best man, a desperate theater producer, a not-so-bright hostess, gangsters posing as pastry chefs, a misguided Don Juan and an intoxicated chaperone.

There's also an impressive set, with a levitating airplane that can be boarded by students.

REVIEW PHOTO: VERN UYETAKE - Actors Julia Wolf (playing Janet Van de Graaff) and Aidan Gatter (playing Robert Martin) rehearse during preparation for opening night of 'The Drowsy Chaperone.'Lauren Welton, a sophomore at LOHS and a member of "The Drowsy Chaperone" crew, says this Tony Award-winning musical is special because it's not well known.

"It's fun to be a part of because it's new to everyone. It's not a well-known show, so the majority of the people involved are learning it while putting it together," Welton said. "People should come to the musical because it's something different. It's new and exciting and tons of fun."

Senior Julia Wolf plays leading lady Janet Van de Graaff, and she says "The Drowsy Chaperone" is especially fun to be involved with because of the time period it's set in.

"It's the 1920s, so it's super sparkly and glamorous," Wolf said. "The costumes are bright and the music is lively, and you can't help but put a smile on your face when you see the comedy unfold."

Members of the cast and crew spoke about the close-knit drama community during rehearsals for the "The Drowsy Chaperone" on Tuesday. Drama "really brings people together," Welton said. "It's a safe place to be creative

and express yourself."

Fellow LOHS sophomore and crew member Will Firmin had similar feelings.

"I love the friendly atmosphere that is present whenever we are working together," he said. "It is a great place to meet new people and make friends."

PHOTO COURTESY OF DAVID KINDER - Lakeridge High's cast of 'Mary Poppins' show off their costumes during a dress rehearsal this week. The Pacers' production will debut on Nov. 9.

'Mary Poppins'

Across the lake, the Lakeridge drama program will perform the Broadway musical "Mary Poppins," which is based on the works of P.L. Travers and the beloved Disney film that starred Julie Andrews and Dick Van Dyke.

PHOTO COURTESY OF DAVID KINDER - Cole Sanchez and Yelena Friedman play the Banks family's butler and maid in Lakeridge High's production of 'Mary Poppins.'Earlier this year, Lakeridge director and drama teacher Andy Ballnik said he chose the production because "it was going to be a challenge — artistically, creatively and technically."

And as for the music? Well, Ballnik said, it is timeless.

"I guarantee the audience will walk out with an overwhelming feeling of nostalgia," he said.

Members of the cast and crew also bonded through the process of putting this show together.

"Everyone gets to know each other really well," said Evan Melendez, who is a member of the ensemble and plays Valentine the doll. "There's a lot of energy and excitement, and everyone really bonds."

PHOTO COURTESY OF DAVID KINDER  - Mrs. Corry, played by Isa Melendez, shows off her colorful costume during a dress rehearsal for 'Mary Poppins.'Mary Poppins is played by senior Sarah Deyoung, who says there are a lot of lasting friendships made in theater. The production "is something everyone can do together to accomplish our end goal," said Deyoung. "It's something we all love doing."

Deyoung promises a magical show.

"The magic of 'Mary Poppins' inspires a lot of imagination," she said. "It takes you a step beyond reality."

Lakeridge's performance will feature a flying Mary Poppins, thanks to the work of a specialist brought in from Las Vegas. Kevin Jung, who plays Bert, said the airborne acrobatics will provide audiences with something fun they don't see in most high school performances.

"It will be a fun surprise for people," Jung said.

Tickets

All performances of "The Drowsy Chaperone" will be held in the LOHS auditorium (2501 Country Club Road). Tickets are $12 for adults, $8 for students and $5 for children 5 or under. Doors will open 30 minutes prior to each show. To buy tickets ahead of time, go to www.eticketexpress.com.

All performances of "Mary Poppins" will be held in the Lakeridge auditorium (1235 Overlook Drive). Tickets are available to purchase for $8-12 at www.pacer-drama.org.

Tickets to both musicals will also be sold at the door.

Contact Lake Oswego Review reporter Claire Holley at 503-636-1281 ext. 109 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

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