Youth Theatre puts on 'Groovy' performance

By Colin Rajala - Staff Writer
Windsor - posted Wed., Nov. 21, 2012
Travis, played by Ethan Douglas, and Muriel, played by Amanda Schwartz, perform a duet. Courtesy photos. - Contributed Photo

Sitting backstage before the Windsor Youth Theatre’s Pee Wee Division performance of "Groovy!" - a musical comedy tribute to the 1960s - the cast of 60 children ages 5 to 14 looked as calm and collected as could be, having no pre-show jitters or butterflies in their stomachs before their big performance. When the lights dimmed and the curtains drew open, members of the youth theatre group did not need to picture the audience in their underwear to fight off nerves - they felt at home on stage and gave the performances of their lives to a packed auditorium at the L.P Wilson Community Center.

The audience of 240 and 275 guests, on Nov. 17 and 18, respectively, bobbed their heads to the music of old and laughed at the show’s punch lines in what was one of the most successful shows in the group's 27-year history.

“The show was amazing this weekend,” said Kelsey Fitzsimmons, Windsor Youth Theatre director. “The crowd really seemed to love it.  We had a lot of applause and laughs for some of our youngest cast members simply for being up there on the stage, and roaring applause for older students after singing a solo or duet. There was tremendous support from the community. We have not seen these numbers in many years; the students were so excited to see a full house.”

The show was filled with highlights from dozens of the budding actors. It got off to a rousing start when Mason Douglas and Shelby Finaly, playing California Cowabunga and California Ivy, surfed their way cross-country to drop in on the Music, Beads and Flowers Festival. They introduced the farm town to surfing music during their duet, "Anything’s Possible," which received one of the loudest ovations of the evening. Sadie Gapko had a show-stealing scene when her character, Ida Kaufman, admitted that she had a phobia to musicians. Gapko’s delivery of the line left the crowd in stitches.

“The students’ characters really came alive in front of the audience,” Fitzsimmons said. “We saw facial expressions that we never saw before, and when the audience laughed at a joke or even at a costume, the students would exaggerate their movements and lines even more, just like any actor would." 


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