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Catch a play at one of three local schools

LOJ, Lakeridge Junior High and Riverdale Grade School all have shows planned for this week

SUBMITTED PHOTO - Actors in Lakeridge Junior High's 'Show and Spell,' which opened last week, include (from left) Emma Sewell, Avery Jett and Madison Michie.Lakeridge and Lake Oswego junior highs and Riverdale Grade School all are performing plays later this week and over the weekend, giving theater lovers a wealth of choices.

The curtain on Lakeridge Junior High’s play, “Show and Spell,” actually rose last week, but it continues at 7 p.m. tonight and Friday. The play centers around five middle-schoolers who, with the “help” of passionate parents and zany coaches, prepare for an annual spelling bee. Roles include the jock, the cheerleader, the daughter of a wealthy woman, the daughter of a movie star trying to be an actress herself and the nerd lacking in social graces.

Lakeridge Junior High seventh-grader Luke Wyngarden plays the jock, who he says is a tad over the top.

“Everything kind of revolves around him, and he’s the kind of person who can’t lose,” Luke says. “If he loses, it’s a really, really, really bad thing.”

Luke says the play isn’t his first time on stage, but it helped him “add onto” his acting experience. He says people should come see this play if they’re looking for a good comedy, which for him is reminiscent of an iconic 1980s John Hughes movie.

“If they like ‘Breakfast Club,’ they’ll really like it,” he says.

Tickets cost $4 for students and seniors and $5 for general admission. The play will be held at the school, 4700 Jean Road, Lake Oswego.

Director Brian Shnipper says this is a well-written piece by a playwright, Julia Brownell, who’s done work in New York and for TV shows.

“(It is) audience friendly for both parents and the students, and it’s a smart script and funny,” Shnipper says.

SUBMITTED PHOTO - Lake Oswego Junior High students are performing 'Play On!' this week. It is Rick Abbot's adaptation of William Shakespeare's Twelfth Night. The case members are (from left): top row, Cara Starke, Joe Able, Makenna Markman, Ryan Miller and Ellie DeVine; and bottom row, Amy Park, Kelly Simmons, Gryphon Smith, Lena When and Kendryn Starke.

Lake Oswego Junior High’s “Play On!” will be showing at 7 p.m. tonight through Saturday. Rick Abbot’s adaptation of William Shakespeare’s “Twelfth Night” centers on the lives of a theater group striving to memorize their scenes despite an arrogant playwright who keeps re-writing them.

“It keeps getting worse and worse and worse and worse until a full crash at the very end,” says LOJ eighth-grader Ryan Miller. “It’s just hilarious and so fun to work with.”

Miller is one of the principal actors, playing Henry, the mayor of a small town in Kansas and “sort of a sugar daddy to his wife, who basically runs the town.” They’re trying to revitalize the theater, and this impending theatrical disaster worries them.

“It’s something a lot different than regular plays you’re used to seeing,” Ryan says. “It really gets into what acting is all about and what struggles all the actors go through.”

The play will be held at the school, 2500 Country Club Road. Tickets are $5 at the door for LOJ students with ID and $10 general admission.REVIEW PHOTO: VERN UYETAKE - Riverdale Grade School students this week are putting on 'Alice in Wonderland Jr.,' a simplified version of Lewis Carroll's classic tale of a girl who went down the rabbit hole. Fifth-grader Emilie Cocke plays Alice.

Riverdale Grade School students are performing “Alice in Wonderland Jr.,” a simplified version of Lewis Carroll’s classic tale of a girl who went down the rabbit hole. The show will be held at 6 p.m. Friday and at 2 p.m. and 6 p.m. on Saturday.

Riverdale collaborated with the Lakewood Center for the Arts for the second year in a row, getting guidance this spring for direction, stage management and choreography.

“The drama program is growing in leaps and bounds at the grade school,” says Tiana Dixon, a parent volunteer working on the production. “The interest level was huge, and we were able to accommodate a cast of 40 kids.” 

Tickets are $3 and can be purchased at the door. The performance will be held at the grade school, 11733 S.W. Breyman Ave., Portland.

By Jillian Daley
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