Windham Players' spring production is 'A Very Potter Musical'

By Melanie Savage - Staff Writer
Windham - posted Tue., Apr. 30, 2013
From left:  Brighid DeAngelis, Rian Cronin, Jason Carle,  Jared Starkey and Rachel Gudmundson rehearse for 'A Very Potter Musical.' On the ladder in the background is Ruth Mercado. Photo by Melanie Savage.
From left: Brighid DeAngelis, Rian Cronin, Jason Carle, Jared Starkey and Rachel Gudmundson rehearse for 'A Very Potter Musical.' On the ladder in the background is Ruth Mercado. Photo by Melanie Savage.

The choice of this year's spring musical for the Windham Players was reached in part by the decision of members of the program, “and partly by consideration of the available talent base that would fit the roles,” said program director and Windham High School teacher, Vincent Iovine. The show is “A Very Potter Musical.” 

“I felt it was time to choose a more whimsical show in contrast to the classic musicals we have traditionally staged,” said Iovine. Shows like “Fiddler on the Roof,” “Oliver,” “The King and I,” “Annie,” and “Hello Dolly” are theater classics, and have all served the company well in the past. But “Potter’s” connection to the J.K. Rowling blockbusters provides it with a more contemporary, mainstream accessibility.

“Potter,” with music and lyrics by Darren Criss and A.J. Holmes and book by Matt Lang, Nick Lang and Brian Holden, is a parody based on several of the Harry Potter novels. It features many of the familiar characters, including Harry, Ron and Ginny Weasley, Hermione, Valdemort, Snape, Dumbledore and others. “For all Harry Potter fans, this show will definitely be a treat,” said Iovine.

As is typical for Windham Players productions, the show features a cast drawn from a number of different area schools. “The show includes a unified cast of performers from eight area schools and colleges,” said Iovine.

Two cast members, Jared Starkey playing Harry Potter and Brighid DeAngelis playing Bellatrix, are Windham High School seniors who are planning to study the performing arts at the university level next year. “Since this is their last show as students with the Windham Players, they have both assumed leadership positions in support of moving the preparation process forward,” said Iovine. “Jared, as Harry Potter, adds another significant role to his resume and continues to develop his performance skills. Brighid not only performs a dynamic Bellatrix, but, along with fellow senior, Fay Stolloff, is choreographing her fourth musical for the Players.”

Other Windham seniors, Samantha Chace, Michael Paulhus, Ryan Hul and Christine Mercado  “deserve mention for their leadership roles in this stage production as well,” said Iovine. ”They will truly be missed, but the new class of performers, highlighted by freshmen Emily Brolin, Hannah Basset and Kiara Raye Smith as well as junior Jada Wolfe, will form the foundation for next year's performance season."

"A Very Potter Musical" opens on May 2, with additional performances scheduled for Friday, May 3, and Saturday, May 4, at 7 p.m. and a final performance on Sunday, May 5, at 2 p.m. All performances will be staged at Windham High School's Naisin Auditorium, 355 High St., Willimantic.  Tickets are now on sale at the Windham High School Bank.  For more information, or to reserve seats, contact program director Iovine at viovine10@gmail.com.
 


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