The Star Beacon; Ashtabula, Ohio

March 17, 2013

Pymatuning Valley High School students to star in spring production 'The Nifty Fifties'

By STACY MILLBERG - For the Star Beacon
Star Beacon

ANDOVER TOWNSHIP — With just one week of rehearsals left, Pymatuning Valley High School students are getting ready to take a trip back in time with their spring musical all about the “The Nifty Fifties.”

This year’s production will take place March 22 and 23 at 7:30 p.m. and March 24 at 2:30 p.m. at the Veteran’s Memorial Performing Arts Center at PVHS.

The students have been working hard since the middle of January, rehearsing three days a week, said Director Maribeth Miltner.

“These are kids that are involved in everything so to pull them together five days a week just doesn’t happen,” she said.

Miltner said the school has not done a 50s-themed show in a while so she decided to do one this year.

“We did Carousel last year and it was very operatic,” she said. “I thought this would appeal to the audience and the kids would enjoy it.”

The students have been having a lot of fun learning about the 50s and have been really enjoying the music they are performing, she said.

“The show is really coming together,” Miltner said.

This is the first show PV has done that a professional choreographer was hired to work with the students.

“The kids have responded really well,” Miltner said. “I’m no choreographer and I know that.”

The storyline of “The Nifty Fifties” is centered on “Gracie Stanley” and the predicament she has gotten herself into when she promises to deliver a performance by her distant cousin, the famous “Ziggy Springer,” at the high school Hippity Hop at Louise’s Luncheonette.

“Springer’s” manager will not allow him to perform anywhere without pay, so “Stanley” and her friends decide to use a singing soda jerk as a double and plan to have him perform in the dark.

It won’t be easy for “Stanley” to get away with this one, especially with her rival “Muffin Mansfield” waiting for her to flop. Meanwhile, the owner of Louise’s Luncheonette forbids the dance and plans to turn the eatery into a dry cleaning establishment.

With all of this happening, “Stanley’s” brother is living in fear because he smashed up a Harley belonging to bully “Sinbad Galucci.”

The musical is a comedic tribute to the 1950s written by Tim Kelly with music and lyrics by Bill Francouer. The show is a reminder of the fun music and innocence of the time period.

Musical numbers include such numbers as “Bob-A Lu-Bop Dance Party,” “Teen Queen,” “It’s Tough to be a Teenager in Love,” a re-enactment of “It Was the Blob,” and the title tune “Nifty Fifties.”

Members of the production team include Miltner, director and keyboardist; set designer and construction engineer, Colleen Sabeh; Dave Perkins, choreographer; Lynn Sabeh, assistant choreographer; and keyboardist and sound engineer, John Hulbert.

Playing the part of “Stanley” is senior Julia Fink.  Emma Taylor is “Mansfield,” “Stanley’s” rival. Teen idol “Springer” is played by Patrick Lorincz and his manager “Lennie” is played by senior Bradley DeHaven.  “Lennie’s” secretary “Beverly” is played by Janine Marshall, and Rory Gallatin is the high school basketball star, “George Bullock.”  Louise’s Luncheonette owner is Brianna Buie.

Employees are Melinda Glass and Virginia Swann.  Soda jerk “Donald Springer” is played by Austin Blair.

“Mansfield’s” friends Ann and Jane are played by Hannah Gears and Chelsea Schovanec.  “Stanley’s” friends are played by Cassie Orahood and Savannah Lewis. “Mrs. Nicholson” is played by Roberta Benedict and her brother-in-law “Officer Moore” is played by Zac Reynolds.

James Riley is “Jughead Jarvis,” and Clark Lappert is his friend and “Stanley’s” brother “Bob.”  Beatnik friends of “Galucci” are Yvonne Luther and senior Zac Beach.  “Galucci” is played by senior Doug Lorincz.  Other students include Courtney McClure, Tom Fontaine, Elisa Keehn, Kimmie Morrison, Ryan Kehres, and Kali Imrie.

Tickets are on sale and can also be purchased at the door, one hour prior to each performance. Tickets are $6 for adults and $4 for students and senior citizens.