Young actors step into the spotlight |

Young actors step into the spotlight

Charlie OwenVail, CO, Colorado
AE can't stop the beat1 KA 11-12-07

Broadway musicals are not usually something most school kids talk about in the hall between classes but some of them have to.This Saturday and Sunday the Vail Performing Arts Academy will be putting on its annual autumn production, featuring local students between the ages of 8 and 18. This will be the fourth installment of the program, complete with a brand new theme. You Cant Stop the Beat The Funny Side of Broadway is a musical review of popular Broadway shows with funny songs and dialogue, according to Annah Scully, executive producer of the VPAA. Among the shows being reviewed will be The Producers, Spamalot, and Little Shop of Horrors. The show is rated PG due to the mature humor that comes with the territory of Broadway musical comedies, said Scully, but the younger kids segments will be kept clean.The whole theme of the evening is for everyone to walk out with sore ribs from laughing, Scully said.Kids from schools all over the valley will be starring in the ambitious production that Scully calls a variety show that everyone can enjoy.Keeping it simple yet interesting was the challenge that Colin Meiring, artistic director for the show, had to overcome while planning the show. He had little time to work with students, seeing them only three hours a week for 10 weeks. Youre not able to be too creative because of time. Youre not able to over think and overanalyze because you have time deadlines, said Meiring, who insists that the show will still give audiences a big bang for their buck. All I can do is work the way I was directed and obviously its simplified and a lot more broken down and deconstructed for the kids.

A Broadway veteran himself, Meiring said that these kinds of productions are important to the young children who participate in them because they learn teamwork and respect for the theater, while the communities they come from get a sense of pride from seeing their kids perform. You have to give back. Thats just an unspoken rule with all performers on Broadway. You have to give back to the next generation or Broadway is going to cease to exist, Meiring said. Alex Morton, a junior at Vail Mountain School, could be a part of the next generation of Broadway. Her starring role as Ms. Peretti in the Spelling Bee segment has fueled her desire to pursue stage acting in the future, she said. Working with Meiring and the cast has also given her a small taste of what Broadway could be like.Its been so much fun. Getting the choreography down takes time and its a little bit frustrating at first but once you get the hang of it, its so much fun, said Morten, who worked on more than just her dancing while in rehearsals. When I first started my singing was a little iffy and I couldnt project at all and doing this has really helped me to develop that, and its been huge for me.Fostering that love for theater and the arts is exactly what this show is designed to do. By purchasing a ticket to the show you will also be helping out the future of Broadway all proceeds will benefit the Vail Performing Arts Academy, a non-profit organization dedicated to providing the children of Eagle Valley with theatrical education.Arts & Entertainment Writer Charlie Owen can be reached at 748-2939 or

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