It’s the best ticket in town |

It’s the best ticket in town

Cindy Ramunno

When they explained it, I wondered how they were going to pull off the story with students ranging from age 3 to adult. A conversation with my niece, who was a first-grader at the time, went like this:

Me: “So, Little Red Riding Hood. What’s your dance?”

Her: “I’m the bread.”

“The bread? I don’t get it. Bread doesn’t dance. How can you possibly be bread?”

“Aunt Cindy, you have to see it. The first-graders are the bread in Little Red Riding Hood’s basket. We have a really cool dance. You just have to see it.” She was so right. Everyone was a key player in this performance. The first-graders were dressed in butter yellow bandannas and tank tops and black dance pants. And they danced a way cool dance to a song about bread. The teachers made bread exciting. Go figure.

So when I heard the Eagle Dance Academy was putting on “Alice in Wonderland” this spring, I got my tickets early. This year, thanks to a Buckman Blount Community Grant, they’re performing at the Vilar Center for the Arts this Saturday. That’s every local performer’s dream.

It’s the best ticket in town – and there are still some available at the door. The shows are at 2 and 6:30 p.m. For $8, you get to see 160 students ranging from age 3 to adult perform an incredible rendition of Lewis Carroll’s “Alice in Wonderland,” which has been written by Cheryl McQuaid,director of the academy. Trust me that you will know someone in this performance. Bring your kids. They will definitely know someone performing.

Molly Crocker and Sydni Williams are sharing the part of Alice, each performing for one of the shows. Both are Eagle Valley middle schoolers. Kira Lindquist, Eagle Valley High School junior, will play the Queen of Hearts. Jack O’Neill, Brush Creek Elementary student, will play the king. Marlis McChesney will play the white rabbit, and Ashley Woodworth will play the Cheshire cat. Both are Eagle Valley High School freshmen.

Jill Shainholtz and Toni Hoehn share the part of the DoDo Bird. Abby Ross and Rebeckah Stough are Tweedle Dee and Tweedle Dum. The Mad Hatter, March Hare and Door Mouse rolls will be filled by Ashley Cunningham, Lindsay Olin and Hilary Henry.

Alice’s sister will be played by Johanna Moch and Jamie Woodworth. Beth Butler will play Alice’s cat Dinah. The walrus is Luke Dillon. Adam Horst and Austin Woodworth will share the role of the carpenter. Plus the rest of Cheryl’s incredible students.

It’s worth going just to watch the 3-year-olds. “This will be a wonderful recital thanks to our excellent teachers, talented, hard-working students and extremely supportive parents,” Cheryl says. “Writing and coordinating this type of performance is more difficult than a traditional recital. They flow more quickly and are more enjoyable to watch.”

I got the chance to walk through the backstage area last year. What impressed me the most was all of the older students helping out the younger ones with makeup and getting ready to perform.

The teachers are too busy putting on the actual show and making sure it runs smoothly. It’s rare to see middle and high school kids in charge of a backstage situation for a huge performance. At the Eagle Dance Academy it’s expected.

I can’t wait to see what these dancers have in store. You don’t want to miss this incredible show. For more information, call the academy at 328-6862.

Cindy Ramunno of Eagle writes a weekly column for the Daily.

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