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March 12, 2014

Morris seniors to stage time-traveling musical

By Mark Boshnack Staff Writer
The Daily Star

---- — The Morris Central School Senior Chorus will be “traveling through time” to help fund a future trip to Broadway. The 40 students in the program are presenting “Time Travel: The Musical” on Friday and Saturday at 7 p.m. in the school auditorium. Tickets are $6 for adults and $5 for students.

The proceeds are used to fund the annual trip to a Broadway show for the senior chorus, said its teacher, Cheryl Ernst. As is the tradition of the project, she directs, while the students help select the music, write the script, paint and make the props, and learn the choreography. Students will use the musical selections to take the audience back in time to the 1930s jazz era, the 1940s country sound in Nashville, 1960s Motown Sound in Detroit, classic rock of the ‘70s, Disney World in ‘90s and back home for current songs.

Some of the songs featured are “I Got Rhythm,” “ Hey Good Lookin’,” “ My Girl,” “Colors of the Wind,” “Cruise” and “Road.”

Students actors are Maeve Kranbuhl, Hope Gengenbach and Fred Shwarzhans. A select group are performing “Bellas Finals” from the movie “Pitch Perfect.” There are seven soloists including Samantha Henness singing “Grandpa, Tell Me ‘Bout the Good Old Days” and Paisley Sellers singing “Fire and Rain.”

One of the chorus members is tenth grader Morgan Flint. She said she liked how the musical uses recent songs and music from different genres. “It makes it more fun,” she said, to have so much student involvement, adding that she was hopeful this year’s musical would be sold out, as it has been previously.

“We made it so there will be something for all ages to relate to,” she said.

This year’s trip to see “Phantom of the Opera” on Broadway was a “privilege,” she said. She hadn’t been to the theater district before.

“It’s a lot a lot bigger than you expect it to be,” she said.

Ernst said doing the student play this way makes for more of a collaborative effort. By doing most of the work, the chorus doesn’t have to worry about royalty fees, which means more of the money can be used to pay for the Broadway trip, she said.

It also allows the musical to feature the group’s talent, and allows the show fit the individuals, she said.

“This has been one of the most focused group of students I have worked with in a long time,” she said.