Thursday, November 23, 2017
News Roundup

April 13-15: Springstead High stages 'Anything Goes'; Weeki Wachee High stages 'Into the Woods'

RECOMMENDED READING


One production is a classic musical filled with love, romance and a possible happy ending. The other is a fractured fairy tale that tells a story of what happens after the "happily ever after."

Theatergoers are in for a treat this weekend, with a chance to see two very different high school productions as Springstead High School presents Anything Goes, and Weeki Wachee High School presents Into the Woods.

Both shows kick off tonight and continue through Sunday.

'Anything Goes'

Many people are familiar with Cole Porter's Anything Goes. The story is set on an ocean liner, where stowaway Billy Crocker hopes to win the heart of the girl he loves, the wealthy socialite Hope Harcourt. Unfortunately, Hope is engaged to Lord Evelyn Oakleigh.

"It is like a 1930s Love Boat," said Springstead High drama and choral director Mark Pennington. "There are a lot of funny situations they get into."

Senior Mike Killory, 18, finds his role as Billy Crocker a fun one with challenging songs.

"He is funny and a ladies' man," Killory said. "He is always trying to find a way for (Billy and Hope) to be together and to bust up the wedding."

Junior Brittany Burdette stars as Billy's friend Reno Sweeney, who helps Billy in his attempts to break up Hope and Evelyn.

"Reno is the sexy evangelist," Burdette said. "She's supposed to preach, but is a little naughty about it. . . . She is such an influential and powerful character."

As Hope, 15-year-old sophomore Amanda Hartzell has a lot on her plate. Not only does she perform her first kiss on stage, but must "kiss Billy at least three times," she said.

"There's so many things going on with Hope," Hartzell said. "She's innocent and cries a lot. She's engaged to Evelyn, but also is in love with Billy. . . . She's an emotional wreck."

The show will include plenty of dancing and singing. It boasts a cast of more than 40, and includes a live 18-piece orchestra.

"It's a great show," Pennington said. "We have a great set and professional costumes from New York. We're excited."

'Into the Woods'

Into the Woods is lesser known but equally exciting. With music composed by Stephen Sondheim, the show, which premiered on Broadway in 1987, is based on a Grimm's fairy tale.

The story includes a number of familiar fairy tale characters, such as the Baker and his wife, Cinderella and her Prince Charming, Rapunzel, and Little Red Riding Hood. Though the characters are familiar, there is a twist as to how their lives change after the "fairy tale" ends. Cinderella, for instance, becomes ambivalent as her prince has a roaming eye. Red Riding Hood becomes bloodthirsty. There is also a twist on the Baker and his wife, who long for a child — at least in the first act.

"She becomes promiscuous in the second act," said junior Sabrina Luescher, 17, of her role as the Baker's Wife. "She pulls me in different directions. . . . It's really a lot of fun."

In fact, the Baker's Wife has a romantic scene with Cinderella's prince, played by sophomore Christian Braz, 16, who also plays the Wolf.

"It was difficult to develop two totally different characters," Braz admits. "One is really creepy and is creeping up on Little Red. Then there is the Prince, who is cocky, arrogant and pretty much a player."

The different fairy tale characters' lives become intertwined in the first act when the Baker and his wife learn the evil Witch, through a curse, is the cause of their infertility. Preying upon their desire for a child, the Witch is able to use the couple to get what she wants.

"I've never really played a character this intense," said Weeki Wachee junior Hannah Vandigriff, 17, of her role as the Witch. "She is mean, crude and disgusting, and is making sure she takes everyone down with her to get what she wants."

Vandigriff said her favorite scene is when she performs The Witch's Rap.

"It's the reason I auditioned," she said.

The show is co-directed by Keith Meccia and Morgan Burburan, Weeki Wachee High's director of choirs and musical theater. The production includes live music with about a dozen school and community performers in the pit.

"(Into the Woods) has such depth of character and a storyline that goes across the generations," Burburan said. "It reaches you in different ways at different ages. Each generation gets something different."

"At first, I thought it was a dark show, but it has a good moral," said the show's producer, Nicki Helsley, who is the booster club president for the school's vocal and theater department. "It is an intense show, and the difficulty level is high. . . . The kids are doing great and have worked really hard."

Burburan agreed.

"They really stepped up to the challenge and exceeded my expectations," she said.

Comments
Jon Mott wins record fifth Times Turkey Trot 10K

Jon Mott wins record fifth Times Turkey Trot 10K

By BOB PUTNAMCLEARWATER — The Tampa Bay Times Turkey Trot has long been a fixture on Jon Mott’s sporting calendar. Not even a 103-degree fever Tuesday could keep him away from the event, in its 39th year. Mott, a record four-time 10k champion, added ...
Updated: 2 hours ago
Bucs players, coaches say they cherish getting game balls for special feats

Bucs players, coaches say they cherish getting game balls for special feats

TAMPA — In the jubilant moments after a Bucs win, Dirk Koetter will sometimes ask for a game-used ball from his equipment staff, hold it high in the locker room and present it to the player who was most crucial to the victory.NFL players can ask for ...
Updated: 3 hours ago

 
Updated: 3 hours ago

Updated: 3 hours ago
Woman killed in Largo motorcycle crash could ‘out-game any dude’

Woman killed in Largo motorcycle crash could ‘out-game any dude’

LARGO — Sydney Pender, 27, loved riding her motorcycle, even though she knew the dangers. Three years ago, her friend said, a delivery truck hit her. But she kept riding. On Thanksgiving, it was a crash with a taxi cab that killed her.Pender, a St. P...
Updated: 3 hours ago

Valrico intersection closed after car-sized hole opens in road

VALRICO — A hole the size of a vehicle opened up beneath the intersection of Nature’s Way Boulevard and Elm Grove Lane, Hillsborough officials said.The cause of the depression is unclear, but the intersection was blocked off to traffic.Hillsborough C...
Updated: 4 hours ago
Days after a high fever, Jon Mott wins his fifth Times Turkey Trot 10K

Days after a high fever, Jon Mott wins his fifth Times Turkey Trot 10K

CLEARWATER — On Tuesday, Jon Mott had a 103-degree fever. That was not enough to keep him from maintaining his dominance Thursday at the 39th Tampa Bay Times Turkey Trot.The former Northeast standout added to his record with his fifth title in the ev...
Updated: 5 hours ago

Update: Mother, toddler hit by car in critical condition at TGH

TAMPA — A mother and one of her two small children who were hit by a car while trying to cross Dale Mabry Highway on Wednesday were still in the hospital on Thanksgiving, according to Tampa General Hospital.Cassandra Marie Spicola, 29, and 18-month-o...
Updated: 10 hours ago

Pasco County put under immediate tornado warning

The National Weather Service has put out a tornado warning for Pasco County. Thunderstorms capable of producing a tornado and strong winds are expected over Jasmine Estates, New Port Richey and Hudson until 1:15 p.m., according to the NWS warning. Ba...
Updated: 12 hours ago
Thanksgiving forecast: Rain today, but sunny skies this weekend

Thanksgiving forecast: Rain today, but sunny skies this weekend

It’s going to be a wet Thanksgiving across Tampa Bay, but sunny skies are coming during the long weekend, according to WTSP 10Weather meteorologist Ric Kearbey. 10News WTSPThe latest Tampa Bay-area radar 10...
Published: 11/23/17