Musical Excitement: Amity Theater Takes On “In The Heights”

 Amity High School, Around Town, Latest News, School News  Comments Off on Musical Excitement: Amity Theater Takes On “In The Heights”
Jan 152014

Screen shot 2014-01-15 at 1.35.55 PMIn the Heights, winner of four 2008 Tony Awards® including Best Musical and the 2008 Grammy® Award for Best Musical Show Album, is  coming to Amity High School April 4,5, 10,11,12 2014.

In the Heights, tells the universal story of a vibrant community in New York’s Washington Heights neighborhood – a place where the coffee from the corner bodega is light and sweet, the windows are always open and the breeze carries the rhythm of three generations of music.

Like ‘Fiddler on the Roof,’ ‘In the Heights’ celebrates a community and culture through incredible dance, song, and glimpses into hopes, dreams, and struggles of the residents in New York’s vibrant Washington Heights neighborhood. It’s a community on the brink of change, where the biggest struggles can be deciding which traditions you take with you, and which ones you leave behind.

The Washington Post said In the Heights, is “Pure Broadway. An evening of old-style, innocent pleasure,” and Ben Brantley of The New York Times enthused “In the Heights, is an exuberant, animated shrine to the importance of family ties and being faithful to where you come from.”

The Amity High School Theater Department, the 2013 winner of “Best Musical the Connecticut High School Musical Theater Awards is delighted to be one of the first theaters in the region to produce this show.

The Amity production will feature senior Nick Bottone of Bethany as Usnavi, Senior Shaylen Harger of Orange as Nina, Sophomore Chris Cassella of Orange as Benny, SeniorChelsea Tambis of Woodbridge as Vanessa, Senior Nicole Simon of Woodbridge as Abuela Claudia and Junior C.J. Spaziani of Orange as Sonny.

The talented cast of 45 has begun rehearsals and is very excited to be able to present this new, family friendly, Broadway smash.

The show will once again be directed by Rob and Andrea Kennedy with musical direction by Peter Randazzo.

Tickets to see In the Heights will go on sale in mid-February. Please check our website at www.amitytheaterdepartment.com for more information or like us on facebook @ Amity TheaterDepartment.

Sondheim’s “Sweeney Todd The Demon Barber of Fleet Street” Opens at Amity on Friday

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Apr 032013

IMG_0644The Amity Creative Theater still has tickets for its annual Spring Musical Production of Sweeney Todd The Demon Barber of Fleet Street.

When the unjustly imprisoned Sweeney Todd returns to London, he vows revenge upon those who framed him. Working as a barber and joining forces with Mrs. Lovett, they both serve their customers in wicked ways. Enjoy this award winning musical by Stephen Sondheim.

The show will take place on April 5th, 6th ,11th ,12th, and 13th @ 7:30 p.m.  Tickets can be purchased online at www.amitytheaterdepartment.com or by calling 203-392-2019.  All seats are reserved and cost $17.00

More humorous than the recent film version starring Johnny Depp, this production of the Tony Award winning classic musical tells the suspenseful, razor-sharp story of barber Benjamin Barker (aka Sweeney Todd), who returns to grimy 19th century London vowing to extract revenge for his false imprisonment with the help of immoral baker Mrs. Lovett. Their twisted strategy: Sweeney will murder his victims in his barber chair and Mrs. Lovett will turn them into the tastiest meat pies in London.

The Amity Creative Theater production of Sweeney Todd features a multi-talented cast of more than forty Amity actors, ages 14 to 18 years old. The principal cast includes sophomore Kevin Durkee of Orange as Sweeney Todd; Junior Alida Ballou of Bethany as Mrs. Lovett; Junior Shaylen Harger of Orange as Johanna; Sophomore Max Karsanow of Woodbridge as Anthony; Junior James Ottaviano of Bethany as Judge Turpin; Sophomore Kahari Blue of Bethany as the Beadle; Senior Ted McNulty of Bethany as Pirelli; Senior Peter Charney of Bethany as Tobias and Junior Nicole Simon of Woodbridge as the Beggar Woman.

“Our talented performers seem to thrive on our raising the bar.  Sweeney Todd is the most musically demanding production we have undertaken in our twelve years directing high school students, but I feel confident that the cast and musicians will meet the vocal and dramatic challenges head on and deliver remarkable performances,” said Rob Kennedy, director and theater arts teacher at Amity.

The Sweeney Todd cast will be accompanied by an award winning thirty-piece orchestra of experienced student musicians led by conductor Phil Dolan of the Amity Music Department.

Rob Kennedy co-directs the production along with his multi-talented wife Andrea Kennedy, with musical direction by Peter Randazzo, costumes by Julie Chevan and lighting by Dan Hassenmayer. Past ACT musical productions include: Legally Blonde the Musical, Chicago, Les Miserables, Rent and Grease.

The Amity High School Theater Department has been awarded two Moss Hart Awards from the New England Theater Conference for Best High School production in New England and seven Connecticut High School Musical Theater Awards.

Last year Amity was a national finalist in the American High School Theater Festival and traveled to Scotland England to perform at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival.  This April the theater students along with the music students will travel to Walt Disney World to perform on a Disney stage as part of the Disney Performing Arts On Stage program.

The show takes place on the campus of Amity High School at the John J. Brady Center for the Performing Arts.  Tickets and information are available online at www.amitytheaterdepartment.com or by calling our box office at 203-392-2019.  Tickets are $17 and all seats are reserved.

Show Dates: Friday, April 5th @ 7:30 pm Saturday, April 6th @ 7:30 pm, Thursday April 11th @7:30, Friday April 12th @7:30 and Saturday April 13th @7:30.

***Although there is no strong language in this production of Sweeney Todd, it is not recommended for young children.

See these previous posts on Orangectlive.com

Originally published April 2 at 11:06 a.m.