Lyman drama club presents 'Smile'

By Melanie Savage - Staff Writer
Lebanon - posted Wed., Mar. 23, 2011
Madeline Kollegger, Alison Konow, Emmy Cooper, Morgan Battye, Morgan Quigley and Margaret Gillespie rehearse a scene from Lyman Memorial High School's upcoming production of "Smile." Photos by Melanie Savage.
Madeline Kollegger, Alison Konow, Emmy Cooper, Morgan Battye, Morgan Quigley and Margaret Gillespie rehearse a scene from Lyman Memorial High School's upcoming production of "Smile." Photos by Melanie Savage.

The Lyman Memorial High School production of “Smile” promises to be a top-notch evening of entertainment. The production is a collaboration between the husband-and-wife team of Jillian Cavanna and Ed Weingart. Cavanna is a math teacher at Lyman, and is serving as the musical director. Weingart, who is directing, is a graduate student in technical direction at UConn.

“Smile,” with music by Marvin Hamlisch and book and lyrics by Howard Ashman, was originally produced on Broadway in 1986. The show was reportedly based on a 1975 film with the same title. It only ran for 48 performances, though it received a Tony Award nomination for Best Book of a Musical as well as Drama Desk Award nominations for Outstanding Featured Actor in a Musical (Michael O'Gorman) and Outstanding Costume Design (William Ivy Long).

“It’s not terribly well known,” said Cavanna. “We have some very strong female leads, and a lot of girls interested in doing a musical.” Portraying the backstage travails of a fictional teen beauty pageant, “Smile” seemed like the perfect fit for the cast. “It’s a particularly energetic show,” said Cavanna. “There’s a lot of song and dance. But there are also some more dramatic elements. The kids learn more about themselves than they bargained for through the course of the show.”

The three main leads will be played by Erin White (Brenda the pageant coordinator), Maya Keleher (Robin) and Jordan Swett (Doria). Keleher in particular stood out during a recent staging rehearsal, for her lovely singing voice. “She's a junior right now and she is seriously considering pursuing musical theater after high school,” said Cavanna.

 “Smile” will play at the Lyman auditorium on March 25 at 7:30 p.m., and March 26 at 2 p.m. and 7:30 p.m. Tickets are $7, and will be available at the door. To reserve tickets ahead of time, call (860) 642-5716.  According to Lyman publicity, the show is rated PG with some adult language. But “The Drama Club promises that you will laugh until your stomach hurts.” Lyman Memorial High School is located at 917 Exeter Rd., Lebanon.


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