By Jill Fox
Thirty-two talented teens from Parkland and Coral Springs area high schools have come together for a special production of The Drowsy Chaperone at The Coral Springs Center for the Arts.
Next Stop Broadway’s Teen Theatre Project showcases students, ages 14 through 19, who have received performance training all year, including a series of workshops by visiting professionals in multiple techniques to develop a true understanding of musical theatre performance.
“What’s wonderful about the program is it incorporates students from all the area schools, public and private, in a venue where they can all work together,” said Cynthia O’Brien, artistic director, who created Next Stop Broadway 18 years ago.
She said most are a part of their school drama programs, but this is an additional exciting and inspiring opportunity for the extremely hard-working students.
This year’s production of The Drowsy Chaperone, a 1920’s comedy comprised of a hilarious spoof on old musicals in the Jazz Music Age was chosen with the students in mind.
“We want them to be excited about the production,” said
O’Brien, who uses the show as a vehicle to teach technique, to get the students to understand what professional actors do to create that character, tell that story, and get that essence of the writer’s words to the audience.
The show features one show-stopping song and dance number after another, and two of the main leads are Cameron Kasky and Alex Wind, well-known for their participation in March for our Lives. Other title roles are played by talented area students, very recognizable in the local theater world: Nicole Sugarman, Nick Ismaloff, Grace Bartlett, and Nick Bedusa, among others.
“I think what’s exciting for the audience is that these students are very talented. What they’re going to see will amaze them-the quality of the production as well as what the actors put into it,” said O’Brien, who added that hundreds of past students have become working theater professionals on and off Broadway, performers on cruise ships, and even appear on television shows such as Modern Family and MAD TV.
Next Stop Broadway’s Teen Theatre Project will present put on three performances of The Drowsy Chaperone. Tickets may be purchased for $15 online, or by calling the box office with a student rush ticket price of $6 two hours prior to each performance.
Showtimes are Friday, May 3 at 7 p.m., Saturday, May 4 at 2 p.m. and 7 p.m.
The Coral Springs Center for the Arts is located at 2855 Coral Springs Drive in Coral Springs. Box Office 954-344-5990.
Jill Fox is an Emmy Award-winning writer and producer. She is currently a Senior Account Director at Lon Haber & Co., a leading full-service public relations firm. Fox worked at NBC Miami for eight years after graduating from the University of Miami. She lives in Parkland with her husband, Brian and two children.