Sunday, February 18, 2018
Stage

Central High School cast performs 'The Diary of Anne Frank'

BROOKSVILLE — A year ago, it was summer love, teenage angst and the memorable musical numbers of Grease that had audiences at Central High School singing along with lighthearted happiness.

This year, there will be neither songs nor dancing. And many in the audience may well be moved to tears.

This weekend, the Central High School theater department will perform The Diary of Anne Frank, a play that the New York Times called a "lovely, tender drama."

The show is much different from typical year-end musicals performed at local high schools. It is a heavier, darker drama based on the diary of one of the most notable victims of the Holocaust, chronicling more than two years of the Jewish teen's life in hiding in Nazi-occupied Amsterdam.

"We did a few comedies in the fall," said Central drama teacher Leonard Budd, who co-directs the show with student director Kristina Korobeynikova. "But someone mentioned they were interested in doing (The Diary of Anne Frank). The students talked about it, and it came together."

It was a play with which Budd, an English teacher, is familiar, having performed as Otto Frank when he was a senior in high school. Although there are more modern scripts, he decided to use the original from the 1950s. "It's a great opportunity for young actors to explore strong characters."

Now in her senior year, Korobeynikova, who has acted in a number of plays, including playing Rizzo in last spring's production of Grease, is finding her role as director and stage manager a rewarding experience. "I wanted to try something new and exciting," she said. "I'm working with stage movements, emotions and costumes. … It is more than just helping them with their lines. There is more emotion in this play, and I have to help them portray sorrow, hunger, darkness."

Because it is a small cast of 10 characters, the roles of the lively Anne and her more mild-mannered older sister Margot have been double cast. Friday's performance will feature senior Mackinzey Likens as Anne and junior Jennifer Scalf as Margot. On Saturday, it will be freshmen Kaitlyn MacLean and Ashley Lawrence, respectively.

The play, in two acts, takes place in the secret annex — hidden rooms above Mr. Frank's business where the Franks and the van Daans spend 2 1/2 years in hiding from the Nazis during World War II. The set was built by the cast and their parents, much of it over spring break. Parents John and Sally Scalf and William Turiello put in numerous hours.

"We are very thankful to them," Korobeynikova said.

Otto Frank, played by junior Tyler Cross, is the head of the annex, the thread that keeps the group together. During their stay, there are some poignant moments, including young love, while the two families strive to get along in tight quarters.

In her first starring role, MacLean said one of her favorite scenes is when Anne and Peter are spending time, teasing and chasing one another around.

Likens said she enjoys Anne's energy, but that she can also get quiet. "Anne has a lot of energy and non-filtered behavior."

Korobeynikova said both actors "are incredibly good."

"Each gives a different, unique portrayal of Anne," she said.

The rest of the cast both days includes Rebecca Bae as Miep, Zoe Glader as Mrs. van Daan, Jeff Dow as Mr. van Daan, Cameron Alexandre as Peter van Daan, Darian Dwyer as Mrs. Frank, Nathan Lord as Mr. Kraler and Joshua Ward as Mr. Dussel.

Budd believes the timing of the production is right. "I really believe, with 9/11 and the way we are distancing ourselves from the horror of that, we are also distancing ourselves from the Holocaust," he said. "The concern is with remembering history to avoid repeating it."

To help prepare for the show, Budd said the cast read books and other background information. "They now understand the angst of the story, and the motivation of the characters, and what they were feeling … the terror and horror of the world."

Comments
Trumpeter is the highlight of a concert featuring ‘West Side Story’ themes

Trumpeter is the highlight of a concert featuring ‘West Side Story’ themes

TAMPA — Leonard Bernstein would have turned 100 this year. The Florida Orchestra performed two of his works Friday, the second of which paired the dances from West Side Story with the overture to Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky’s Romeo and Juliet.The orches...
Updated: 6 hours ago
Five things that make Cirque du Soleil’s ‘Volta’ different and fun

Five things that make Cirque du Soleil’s ‘Volta’ different and fun

TAMPA — Cirque du Soleil is back in town with a new show.The Montreal-based company always puts on an extravaganza, splashing around color with the abandon of a toddler playing with paint buckets and a storyline several layers deep, the artistic skel...
Published: 02/16/18
On stage this weekend: Trumpeter Haken Hardenberger, Complexions Contemporary Ballet

On stage this weekend: Trumpeter Haken Hardenberger, Complexions Contemporary Ballet

FLORIDA ORCHESTRA: ROMEO AND JULIET The Florida Orchestra has lined up a romantic evening. This weekend’s concert, Romeo and Juliet and West Side Story, pays tribute to Tchaikovsky and Leonard Bernstein. Bernstein’s prelude, Fugues and R...
Published: 02/14/18
‘Brownsville Song’ at Stageworks tells important story but falls short on believability

‘Brownsville Song’ at Stageworks tells important story but falls short on believability

TAMPA — In some ways, the latest offering at Stageworks Theatre comes loaded with promise.A young man with a lot of motivation, personality and wisdom dies in a random and violent way. In telling his story, we also get a glimpse of life in a Brooklyn...
Published: 02/12/18
Laura Benanti talks about her Melania impression, growing up ‘the odd person out’ and more

Laura Benanti talks about her Melania impression, growing up ‘the odd person out’ and more

Tony winner Laura Benanti (for best actress in a musical), who brings her cabaret act to the Straz Center this week, was a self-described ugly duckling. Growing up in New Jersey, she never tired of Sondheim soundtracks and struggled with a secret shy...
Published: 02/09/18
Even Jimmy Buffett does not live the Jimmy Buffett lifestyle anymore

Even Jimmy Buffett does not live the Jimmy Buffett lifestyle anymore

Jimmy Buffett awoke one morning last year in one of his many homes — he can’t remember which one, there are a lot of them — and a panic gripped him in his throat. His new Broadway musical, Escape to Margaritaville, was coming along nicely, but someth...
Published: 02/08/18
Updated: 02/09/18
Florida Orchestra mixes it up, collaborates with community in 2018-19 season

Florida Orchestra mixes it up, collaborates with community in 2018-19 season

ST. PETERSBURGThemes are useful sometimes. Right now, the Florida Orchestra is still enjoying the heart of its 50th anniversary season, which has been big and loud and celebratory.At other times, maybe it’s best to just put a fine program together an...
Published: 02/08/18
Andrea Bocelli, ‘Phantom of the Opera’ and Cirque du Soleil are all in town for Valentine’s Day

Andrea Bocelli, ‘Phantom of the Opera’ and Cirque du Soleil are all in town for Valentine’s Day

VALENTINE’S DAY: ANDREA BOCELLISuperstar Andrea Bocelli and Broadway legend Kristin Chenoweth team up again, the conclusion of a three-city tour. This time it’s a crossover trio with soprano Nadine Sierra, a 2009 winner of the Metropolitan Opera Nati...
Published: 02/07/18
Updated: 02/09/18
The weekend is cool, but how about a Valentine's Day Wednesdate?

The weekend is cool, but how about a Valentine's Day Wednesdate?

Happy February, lovers. Valentine’s Day a week away. Have you made plans? Possibly not, since the holiday falls on an inconvenient Wednesday this year (especially inconvenient for those who observe Ash Wednesday, a day of denying yourself exce...
Published: 02/07/18
Cirque du Soleil raises big top with ‘Volta’, could open doors for neighbors

Cirque du Soleil raises big top with ‘Volta’, could open doors for neighbors

TAMPAIt took 60 people to raise the white tent last week in the parking lot of the Tampa Greyhound Track, the "big top" for Cirque du Soleil’s Volta.With Volta, now open and running through March 18, Cirque brings its first tented show to the Tampa B...
Published: 02/06/18
Updated: 02/14/18