Youth theatre group to bring crowd back to groovy 1960s

By Colin Rajala - Staff Writer
Windsor - posted Thu., Nov. 8, 2012
Members of the Windsor Youth Theatre perform a song during their 2011 show's finale. Courtesy photos. - Contributed Photo

Afros, mop-tops, and beehive haircuts will be making a comeback as members of the Windsor Youth and Pee Wee Theatre groups put on their fringed vests, bell bottoms jeans and platform shoes for their performance of “Groovy!” a musical comedy tribute to the 1960s. The play will run at the L.P Wilson Community Center Auditorium on Saturday, Nov. 17, at 7 p.m. and Sunday, Nov. 18, at 3 p.m., with doors opening a half hour before the performance. Tickets for the show will cost $12 for adults and $10 for students and seniors, with general admission tickets also available.

“We are so proud of our students’ accomplishments this year, and it has been a push to the end to get in everything this show has to offer,” said Kelsey Fitzsimmons, Windsor Youth Theatre director. “Pee Wee theatre moves at a rapid pace and can be a lot to learn, but in the end it somehow always works out.”

The cast of 60 children, ages 5 to 14, has been meeting every Wednesday for an hour and a half over the last three months, while also spending six Saturdays rehearsing and preparing for their performance, learning at least one new scene or song a week. Their work and preparation does not end when they leave theatre practice. The cast members memorize their lines by listening to the production's music as much as possible, making flashcards, and running their lines with friends and siblings. This year’s performance will feature a handful of cast members as young as 7 with speaking lines; most of the younger members were the first to memorize their lines.

The show revolves around three friends who start a free music, beads and flower celebration, getting a popular music group to donate their talent to the event. Crazily-painted buses and large crowds begin showing up at the festival, where everything runs smoothly until a local neighbor demands the police close it down and a popular music group is offered a deal they can't refuse to skip the festival.

“There is excitement and a normal amount of nerves that everything will come together,” Fitzsimmons said. “The adrenaline always kicks in on opening night, and all of their hard work will have paid off.”

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