‘Night of Broadway’

Published 12:27 am Thursday, May 21, 2009

High Tide Productions presented “Night of Broadway” — a family-friendly affair with musical numbers and cheesecake.

The Picayune Memorial High School drama troupe, under the direction of William Rester and Abbie Woolridge, hosted an evening of fun and entertainment for an audience made up of family members, children, students and a few people who just plain love the theatre.

Rester welcomed everyone to the show and provided introductions to each of the numbers during the interludes.

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We are happy and blessed everyone came out this evening, said Rester. “Our students are excited and nervous.”

Audiences, seated cozily in the high school cafeteria, at tables either with other family members, friends or strangers who would quickly become like old friends, got a taste of an eclectic blend of the most relevant and popular songs from musicals of today, such as “Wicked” and “The Lion King,” peppered with old standards from the musicals of yesteryear, such as “West Side Story” and “Sound of Music.”

What some of the students lacked in musical ability, they more than made up for with tenacity and fearlessness. Personalities sold songs and the drama class known for its natural penchant for comedy didn’t disappoint their fans who have come to expect having laughter induced while watching this group perform.

The casual atmosphere, created by the performers and the setting, allowed for mistakes — such as a forgotten lyric or a sour note — to easily be forgiven and brushed off by both the audience and the performers alike. It was good to see the actors, in the vein of “Saturday Night Live,” laughing at themselves occasionally and continuing on with number instead of getting flustered by the few little minor blunders.

“Night of Broadway” will mark the final curtain call for some of the PMHS High Tide actors on the high school level. Some, who have grown to love the art, will take their talents on to college level and perhaps bigger stages.

Following this class from the very beginning of the school year, as they welcomed a new director into the program, Rester, it was neat to watch the group’s progress as an ensemble. As the level of skills increased, so did the trust and confidence they found with each other. Rester is already planning to continue to expand the program next year and hopefully celebrate much continued success.

Stay tuned for more good things from High Tide Productions after the summer break.