By ANTHONY ALEXANDER, Special To The Bulletin | Published March 15, 2007
Just one week after Blessed Trinity High School’s previous theater production, “Advise and Consent,” ended, the school’s Theatrical Alliance had already started preparing for this year’s spring musical, “Barnum.” The lively musical, which will be presented on Friday and Saturday, March 23 and 24, at 7:30 p.m., chronicles the business life of P.T. Barnum, co-founder of the Ringling Brothers and Barnum & Bailey Circus. His infamous endeavors consist of a long struggle to become part of the entertainment world.
The BT actors spent nine weeks on the production, including working on sessions with BT choral and math teacher Bob Amar to understand the music, which involves higher octaves than required for previous musicals. According to Amar, the actors have adjusted well to the new challenges.
“They’ve shown a lot of incentive,” he said, adding his opinion that Barnum would be proud of the dedicated cast. “If Barnum would want to have presented the musical himself, I think it would have looked something like this.”
Play director Allan Dodson worked with Amar and Sharon Mueller, head of the school’s fine arts department, as well as other members of the department. “Mrs. Mueller and the visual arts people are creating more for this show than they’ve ever done before,” he said, attributing some of this to the fact that this is the largest cast Theatrical Alliance has ever used.
Crew members took it upon themselves to research the play more than had been asked of them. Freshman Justin Adams watched a televised version of “Barnum” to get a better feel for the musical’s characters. “After watching a professional version of the play, I better understood my part and knew how to depict my character,” Adams said.
Everyone involved has been waiting for audience members to see their masterpiece. “We’ve got a lot more activity on stage. Robby Glade will be doing magic tricks and everyone is busy doing something. We even have scenes involving the entire cast,” said sophomore Taylor Baudry, who plays a jazz singer. “I expect the play to be really good mainly because of our great singers, especially some of the freshmen,” he added.
Sophomore Jan-Michael Cart, a drummer for the pit band, began practicing the material in January and also thinks the music is the highlight. “The music for this particular play is great for an instrumentalist because of the upbeat music,” he said. He hopes that the pit band’s involvement in the play will not go unnoticed by the audience. “Hopefully, we’ll perform great and be a great attribute to the play this spring,” he said.
What with all the music to learn, parts to memorize, and props to build, crew member activities seemed chaotic in the beginning, like the very circus event they attempt to create, but eventually everything was smoothed out. Dodson is very proud of his cast. “Anyone who comes to see the play will see the talent of this group,” he said, adding, “I think it has a chance to be the best show we’ve ever done here.”
Blessed Trinity High School is located at 11320 Woodstock Road, Roswell. Tickets are $5 and are available at the school on the Thursday and Friday prior to the performance and at the ticket counter one hour before the show. For more information, go to the Fine Arts link at www.btcatholic.org.
Anthony Alexander, a senior at Blessed Trinity, works on the staff of the school’s newspaper, the Titan Times.