It’s high school musical time throughout the Illinois Valley. Here is your guide to local performances, some that begin tonight.
La Salle-Peru Township High School
La Salle-Peru High School will present “Once Upon a Mattress” at 7 p.m. April 18-20 in the school auditorium. Tickets are $10 for adults and $8 for students and seniors.
Director Christine Adelmann said “Once Upon a Mattress” is the musical version of “The Princess and the Pea.”
Princess Winnifred is an ungainly, brash girl competing for the hand of Prince Dauntless, whose domineering mother Queen Aggravain has declared he must marry a “true” princess before anyone else in the kingdom can marry.
“It is my goal to expose the students to different genres and styles of musicals and this comedic musical is a nice contrast to last year’s drama,” Adelmann said. “Once Upon a Mattress” is the real story of ‘The Princess and the Pea.’ It is a very unorthodox retelling of a classic fairy tale.”
St. Bede Academy
Oompa loompa doom-pa-dee-doo … Willy Wonka is coming to St. Bede Aca-da-mee.
St. Bede Academy will perform “Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory” March 22-24. Showtimes are 7:30 p.m. Friday and Saturday with a special 2 p.m. matinee on Sunday. Tickets are $8 for all seats. Children 5 and under are free and Willy Wonka candy will be available for purchase.
“We chose this musical because it is a fun show that most of our students can remember watching as a child,” director Lisa Griggs said. “Also, we have a lot of talent and this show has many parts that can allow us to highlight more than one or two actors.”
Griggs will be joined by assistant director Andrew Loebach and technical director the Rev. Dominic Garramone.
“We wanted to do a show that students were familiar with,” Garramone said. “’Willy Wonka’ seems like a show kids continue to love. And it’s a creative set inside the factory with such bright colors and interesting aspects that’ll make this a fun project.”
Hall High School
The world is changing and the community of Anatevka must decide to grip tightly to the past or welcome change in Hall High School’s performance of “Fiddler on the Roof.”
Fiddler is the story of the close-knit, Jewish community of Anatevka. The people of this town are a humorous bunch full of love, faith and some very strong opinions, but above all, they value their beliefs and all of the joy and guidance those provide.
When faced with unexpected marriage proposals, lame horses, a modernizing world and persecution, the town must band together and choose to hold on to the past or embrace the future.
Director Molly Schrishuhn said the show is a well-loved, funny show and has really catchy, but beautiful, music.
“I think the themes of the show — changing times, growing up and leaving home — will really hit home for our audience members, both young and old,” she said. “There is a great balance of drama and comedy in the show that the cast really gets into, as well. I think the kids love this show, if all of the singing, dancing and laughing at rehearsals is any indication.”
“Fiddler on the Roof” will be performed at 7 p.m. Friday and Saturday, March 15 and 16 at Hall High School. Tickets are $8. Doors open at 6:30 p.m.
Illinois Valley Community College
You may remember the 1980 romantic musical fantasy film “Xanadu” starring Olivia Newton John. You also may remember the movie flopped at the box office.
“‘Xanadu’ has consistently been ranked as one of the 15 worst of all time and the creators realized that really bad movies make excellent theater productions,” said Illinois Valley Community College play director Don Zellmer. “It’s so goofy and fun, and it was a hit on Broadway so we decided to try it.”
IVCC will be the first community college in Illinois to offer “Xanadu” as a theater production April 19-21 and 26-28. Showtimes are 8 p.m. Friday and Saturday; 4 p.m. Sunday.
Due to construction at the IVCC Cultural Centre, the musical will be preformed in the St. Bede Academy Little Theater inside Abbey Church.
“We wanted to do something new and fresh, something different,” Zellmer said. “It’s really fun to do although the roller skating has been a challenge.”
Princeton High School
Princeton High School’s spring musical “The Wizard of Oz” will be at 7 p.m. March 15 and 16 in the Sally Skinner Council Auditorium at PHS. Aaron Kaufmann, a Princeton High School graduate and a recent music education graduate at Goshen College, will return as artistic director. Joy Schertz is the musical director, Brandon Crawford will direct the orchestra, and Lindsay Philhower of Main Street Dance will be the show’s choreographer.
Tickets for the production are $8 and can be reserved by calling (815) 875-3308, Ext. 375, or by downloading an order form at the PHS website.
Putnam County High School
Putnam County High School will present “Schoolhouse Rock, Live!” at 7:30 p.m. April 26 and 27 at the school. Admission will be $10 for adults and $7 for non-PCHS students. $5 for children under 7. PCHS students are free.
Liz, a nerve-wracked school teacher nervous about her first day of teaching, tries to relax by watching TV when various characters representing facets of her personality emerge from the set and show her how to win her students over with imagination and music, through such beloved Schoolhouse Rock songs as “Just A Bill,” “Lolly, Lolly, Lolly” and “Conjunction Junction.”
“I chose this musical because it is an ensemble piece — there is no ‘star,’” said director Laura Brigham. “The audience will enjoy it because, as adults, many of us grew up hearing this music on TV and you really cannot hear it without smiling and bouncing in your seat. Kids watching will enjoy it because the singing, dancing, bright colors, silliness and fun are nonstop.”
Ottawa Township High School
Ottawa Township High School will perform “Cinderella 2.0” at 7 p.m. May 3 and 4 at the high school. The play is described as “Cinderella with a modern twist.”
Marquette High School
Marquette High School will perform “Grease” on April 12 and 13. Show times were not available before press time.