By J.O. Parker
BGM Junior High and High School students will have Brooklyn residents “walking down the lane with a happy refrain” when they perform Singin’ In The Rain JR. on Saturday, Nov. 12 at 7 p.m. and Sunday, Nov. 13 at 2 p.m. in the BGM Auditorium.
Based on the 1952 movie of the same name, Singin’ In The Rain JR. takes place in Hollywood during the last days of the silent movie era. The story follows Don Lockwood, one half of the blockbuster celebrity silent movie star “couple” Lockwood and Lamont, and the extreme measures taken when his co-star’s high-pitched and nasal voice threatens the duo’s successful transition into talking pictures.
Singin’ In The Rain JR. is adapted from the classic Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer film - named the #1 best movie musical of all time by the American Film Institute - by special arrangement with Warner Bros. Theatre Ventures, Inc. The show features a book by Betty Comden and Adolph Green and songs by Nacio Herb Brown and Arthur Freed.
“Through their production these students are learning about the golden age of musicals, a very important period in America’s cultural history,” noted jazz pianist, Emmit Cohen. “And while they are performing songs and a story that we know and love, they are also exploring some significant ideas including the different sides of celebrity, the importance of adapting to change, the various ways society categorizes success and the realities behind pursuing one’s dreams.”
In silent movies and in the tabloids, Don Lockwood and Lina Lamont are the perfect couple, but behind the scenes Lockwood has no feeling for his vapid co-star. Meanwhile, Lamont's squeaky voice might be the end of the duo’s career in "talking pictures" without the help of a talented young actress to do the talking and singing for her.
Dora Bailey – Shadlee Hazelwood; Don Lockwood – Axton Bartachek; Lina Lamont – Halina Hershey; Cosmo Brown – William Manatt; Roz – Lexi Williams; R.F. Simpson – Raven Hawkins; Kathy Selden – Olivia DeGeeter; Fan #1 – Lillian Dean; Fan #2 – Tabitha Mumm; Policeman – Harrison Hershey; Pedestrian #1 – Emmitt Albers; Pedestrian #2 – Amber Slaymaker; Young Lady – Shadlee Hazelwood; Dexter – Abby Smith; Butler – Lynk Wang; Stagehand #1 – Trey Wright; Stagehand #2 – Jackson Wiegand; Stagehand #3 – Isaiah Williams; Chorus Girl #1 – Addi Day; Chorus Girl #2 – Amber Slaymaker; Chorus Girl #3 – Emily Britts; Chorus Girl #4 – Lorelai Gerard; 1st Assistant – Delaira Sadler; 2nd Assistant – Trinity Miller; 3rd Assistant – Abigail Wadhams; Miss Dinsmore – Megan Hanlon; Teacher – Emily Britts; Student #1 – Addi Day; Student #2 – Isaiah Williams; Student #3 – Graysen Berry; Screening Guest #1 – Amber Slaymaker; Screening Guest #2 – Kaylin Hatfield; Screening Guest #3 – Harrison Hershey; Screening Guest #4 – Lillian Dean; Screening Guest #5 – Emmitt Albers; Sam – Tristan Taylor; Sound Engineer – Madison Hawkins; Zelda – Lorelai Gerard; Broadway Melody Host – Megan Hanlon; Broadway Dancer #1 – (TBD -Dance Team); Broadway Dancer #2 – (TBD -Dance Team); Audience Member #1 – Tabitha Mumm; Audience Member #2 – Trey Wright; Orchestra Leader – Trinity Hazelwood; Crowd – Addi Day, Megan Hanlon, Isaiah Williams, Kaylin Hatfield, Graysen Berry, Emily Britts, Lorelai Gerard, Jackson Wiegand, Delaira Sadler; Pedestrians – Emmitt Albers & Amber Slaymaker; Stars & Party Guests – Trinity Miller, Delaira Sadler, Abigail Wadhams, Lynk Wang; Stagehands – Trey Wright, Jackson Weigand, Isaiah Williams; Kathy’s Girls – Dance Team, Group #1 Singing; Chorus Girls – Addi Day, Amber Slaymaker, Emily Britts, Lorelai Gerard; Students – Addi Day, Isaiah Williams, Graysen Berry; Sound Crew – Tristan Taylor & Madison Hawkins; Ensemble for Singing in the Rain – Dance Team, Group #1 singing; Screening Guests – Amber Slaymaker, Kaylin Hatfield, Harrison Hershey, Lillian Dean, Emmitt Albers; Broadway Chorus – Dance Team, Group #1 singing; Audience Members - Addi Day, Megan Hanlon, Isaiah Williams, Kaylin Hatfield, Graysen Berry, Emily Britts, Lorelai Gerard, Lexi Williams, Jackson Wiegand, Trinity Miller, Delaira Sadler, Abigail Wadhams, Lynk Wang, Trey Wright, Tabitha Mumm; Group #1 – Megan Hanlon, Lorelai Gerard, Emily Britts, Addi Day, Isaiah Williams, Kaylin Hatfield, Graysen Berry, Amber Slaymaker, Lexi Williams, Jackson Wiegand, Tabitha Mumm; Dance Team – Olivia DeGeeter, Megan Hanlon, Connie Schott, Lainey Bridgewater, Mira Beaderstadt.
BGM Musical Directors Carrie Dolmage and Don Lastovka are eager for the BGM Community and area residents to attend the production. BGM students will present Singin’ In The Rain JR. Tickets are $10 for adults and $8 for students and may be purchased online at: https://our.show/bgmdramadept/48736
The Grinnell High School Curtain Club and Thespians present, “All in the Timing” by David Ives. The production consists of six one-act plays: Sure Thing; Words, Words, Words; The Universal Language; Philip Glass Buys a Loaf of Bread; The Philadelphia; and variations on the Death of Trotsky. The production is under the direction of Luke Saunders.
Performances will be Nov. 3 - 5 at 7:30 p.m. in the Grinnell High School Auditorium. Tickets can be purchased at https://www.vancoevents.com/us/eventlist/ghs for $8.79.
Basic plots for each of the one-acts:
Sure Thing - A man tries to ask a woman out on a date, and every time either of them jeopardizes that outcome, the scene resets to an earlier point and they try again. Actors - Bill: Toby Crandall; Betty: Olivia Mick.
Words, Words, Words - A scientist tests whether a certain number of monkeys typing randomly on typewriters could ever produce Hamlet. Actors - Milton: Elisabeth Kelley-Chown; Swift: Billy Lopatto; and Kafka: Emily Cooper.
The Universal Language - A woman wants to learn a new universal language and the man teaching the language only wants her money. At first. Actors - Dawn: Catherine Schubert; Don: Tiernan Boggs; and Young Man: Isaac Hammond.
Philip Glass Buys a Loaf of Bread - The composer Philip Glass buys a loaf of bread in the style of Einstein on the Beach. Actors - Baker: Joel Dressler; Philip Glass: Isaac Zaret; 1st Woman: Mackenzie Kohl; and 2nd Woman: Olivia Mick.
The Philadelphia - A man finds himself trapped in a metaphysical Philadelphia where he can’t get what he wants and nothing goes his way. Actors - Al: Tiernan Boggs; Mark: Thea Sherman; and Waitress: Emily Cooper.
Variations on the Death of Trotsky - Leon Trotsky dies after an assassin smashes a mountain climbing axe into his skull. Then, while trying to evade death, he dies seven more times. Actors - Leon Trotsky: Jeslyn Voogd; Mrs. Trotsky: Peyton Stevenson; and Ramón: Isaac Hammond.
Saunders said he selected this collection because exposure to these plays will help the student actors when they encounter the works of J.B. Priestly, Philip Glass, 20th-century absurdist playwrights and Shakespeare.
“They also have opportunities to find meaning in repetition and seeming nonsense. Ives makes a lot of connections with existing plays and other literature, so just the process of understanding the references and jokes introduces the students to a lot that I hope they will explore more on their own,” noted Saunders. “He also plays with language to the point of making up a new one in one of the plays. Discussing linguistic choices made by characters helps students understand more about the characters' backgrounds and how they think.”
Grinnell Tigers (5-4) to play at ADM (8-1) in first round of 3A football playoff action; game time is 7 p.m.
MOC-Floyd Valley (6-3) at Harlan Community (8-1)
Nevada (7-2) at Sioux Center (5-4)
Central DeWitt (6-3) at Mount Vernon (9-0)
West Delaware (5-4) at Solon (7-2)
Hampton-Dumont/CAL (6-3) at Humboldt (8-1)
Benton Community (6-3) at Independence (9-1)
Grinnell (5-4) at ADM (8-1)
Creston (6-3) at North Polk (7-2)