Caitlin Knox ‘14
I’m a freshman Music major from Florence, KY, and I hate to tell you – my acting experience is slim to none. So, I was a little surprised when my advisor, Dr. Heather Hunnicutt (who’s also CHAIR of the Music Department!) told me last semester I needed to take “Op Shop” as a spring class.
“Does that mean it is op-tional?” I asked hopefully. Uh, no…Op Shop, short for Opera and Musical Theatre Workshop, is required for my major. And, every student gets solo experience in the public showcase with the idea they will grow as performers. Gulp! Luckily, this has turned out to be one of my most enjoyable classes. Maybe Op stands for Opportunity!
Thursday (April 14) in John L. Hill Chapel at 7 p.m. is your opportunity to see and hear some of most enjoyable performances ever on this campus. This year’s show (Dr. H’s fifth Op Shop since coming to GC in ’07) will be the first to focus only on scenes from musical theatre, so no opera will be included in the show (if that appeals to you).
Among the many GC singers in the spotlight will be Liz Maines and Nathan Van Til, who were semifinalists in the Classical category this past weekend in the NATS (National Association of Teachers of Singing) Mid-South Region competition at the University of Kentucky. Nathan was also a semifinalist in Musical Theatre.
Besides my starring role in a number from the musical Grease (ha!), here are my Top Ten reasons I think you will be thoroughly entertained:
- Going Green? — Cheryl Brumley, starring as Elphaba (the green wicked witch) from the Broadway musical Wicked is excited about her new green skin. This scene features the beginning of the relationship between Glinda (the good witch) and Elphaba from The Wizard of Oz. While Cheryl is changing her skin tone, Arielle Evans will be going blonde. But from my observations, the lovely brunette is not as excited as Cheryl is about the switch. Both of these leading ladies are extremely talented and a great way to start off the show.
- Italian Piazza — Sorry, not pizza, but ‘piazza’: a public square in an Italian town. The Light in the Piazza is set in Italy, and stars a mother and daughter duo played by Shannon Brunk and Rae Dunn. This scene focuses mostly on strained relationships; with moving numbers like “Statues and Stories” and “Dividing Day.” It ends on a sweet and touching note with the song “The Light in the Piazza.” You may want to bring along the tissues.
- Finding a Husband…The Old-Fashioned Way (Before E-Harmony.com was an option.) — In Fiddler on the Roof, three sisters must rely on an old woman who calls herself a ‘matchmaker’ to pair them up with their future husband. This all sounds exciting until they realize just how awful of a match they could end up with! Rebeccah Bowery, who plays the oldest sister Tzeitel, admits that she is a little nervous about her first performance, but she’s sure to shine once she is up on stage.
- Look at me, I’m Sandra Dee — As Sandy from Grease, I will be performing her classic ballad, “Hopelessly Devoted to You,” and I will be hopelessly devoted to any fans that come to the show. Rachel Floyd is excited about playing Rizzo; especially while mocking Sandy in the well-known number “Look at Me, I’m Sandra Dee.” Here’s a challenge: figure out just how many Twinkies we consume throughout the scene (it is quite a few).
- A Walk in the Park — Only in a Disney movie can you turn a walk in the park into a full-blown musical number – unless it’s Op Shop and we’re doing a scene from “Enchanted.” The bubbly Molly Shoulta will be playing Giselle, Shawn McPeek as Mr. McDreamy, and Collin Smith as Morgan. Collin says she is prepared to ‘embrace her inner child,’ as she will be acting like a 11-year old. The choreography by Cheryl Brumley is complex, making every role important….even mine; I’m one of Morgan’s playmates.
- Sister Act — For this scene I will have 5 sisters…sisters in Christ, that is. We will all be playing nuns in numbers from the The Sound of Music. Caitlyn Kogge, who has the role of Mother Abbess, remains as cool as a cucumber in every situation that Maria or the nuns test her with. Carolyn Seligh sings beautifully as Maria while singing the classic “My Favorite Things” and “The Sound of Music.”
- They’ll Have You Hooked — This act from “Peter Pan” is a must-see. You will want to stay for this act, whether it is to see a band of all-women pirates or the costumes that the actors must wear to fit their character. Nathan Van Til is Captain Hook, complete with a black wig, eyebrows and mustache. The dashing Shay McCleavy is Smee, and unfortunately has to take quite a few hits from Hook and his anger issues.
- So You Think You Can Dance — Morgan Fralick, member of the GC Dance Team, has to act like she doesn’t know how to dance. This has proved to be more challenging than you would think. She plays Louise in Gypsy, alongside Brittany Glancy, who plays the older sister June. Their mother Mama Rose (Caitlyn Kogge) is determined to make these two child stars. Be on the lookout for a flash of bloomers (how scandalous!) when June does a cartwheel.
- Is Ain’t A Word? — It is when Liz Maines sings “I Ain’t Down Yet” from The Unsinkable Molly Brown. This number will make you laugh out loud; Liz practically had to learn a different language in order to say all of her slang words correctly. Molly is traveling and meets Johnny, her soon-to-be lover, played by Shay McCleavy. You can also expect a lack of shoes in this scene from these country-folk.
- One Singular Sensation — The grand finale of our show will be “One” from A Chorus Line. This will be a sensational number featuring dance moves like you’ve never seen…not to mention the dazzling costumes complete with top hats. Every one of our actors and actresses will be performing; their last chance to showcase all their talents.
As you can see, this year’s Op Shop performance is one you can’t afford to miss – especially since it won’t cost you a dime! Admission is free, but our Lyric Theatre Society could certainly use your donations so that these gifted students can travel to competitions and we can bring the public more great entertainment. Don’t miss out on this amazing opportunity!