For western high school musicals, big crowds and high expectations


Carrying the public with the intrigue of a high school musical is not enough for the students who embark in these days. They must also be sent to Broadway – or at least Benedum.

Just like the students at Belle Vernon High School, most of these young artists want the show to be bigger and better every year than ever before, said Michael Rozell, who currently leads an 80-member troupe in his 21st year as a producer and director. The cast and the technical team present "Big Fish" from March 14th to 17th.

"They know that the public here expects a good performance, so they work hard to give it to them," he said.

After the phenomena of pop culture like "Glee" and "American Idol", it seems that the popularity of the scene has taken a new boom, said Barbara Holmes, in her 43rd year at Winchester Thurston, where 31 students from "Avenue Q "will occur. the scene from 25 to 27 April.

Expectations are also greater because of this popularity and the wider audiences that are moving into western Pennsylvania to attend popular productions.

"Student actors are capable of much more than we sometimes give them," said Holmes.

There are other factors, such as the Gene Kelly Awards, created in 1991 to recognize and encourage musical theater and arts education in the Pittsburgh area.

Whether it's a comedy or a drama, students give their time and talent. They deserve so much more than a glorified choral concert, said Tom Crone, who directs 50 students of his 31st musical at Woodland Hills High School, with "Mamma Mia!". fixed at 26-27 April and 2-4 May.

"I think they deserve to have the finished product behind them, and we put as much time as we do in sets, costumes and lighting as in the acting game," he said. declared. "They are surprised that these kids are going to high school. When they come here, they forget that they are in high school and not in Benedum. "

But the performers are still students at the heart of these productions, even the most sumptuous.

"It's an incalculable number of hours to start producing in high school," said Bob Tozier, producer of North Allegheny High School's musical. "Watch the love that these kids are getting live theater, it's worth it."

Jamie Gore, producer and director of The Little Mermaid Orchestra at Southmoreland High School, will run from March 28 to 31 with a cast of 65 students.

"Wherever we can integrate their ideas and showcase their hard work and talent, we try to do it," she said.

It is the second year of a musical production in the district after an interruption of more than 40 years. Gore and the rest of Southmoreland's team faced challenges such as countless auditorium seats, making ticket sales difficult to organize. Students in the technical training program have now been tasked with creating them.

"We're just trying to give our students every chance of being introduced and letting the community see what their support means for the kids," Gore said.

Choosing different styles of music helps highlight these strengths, said Tozier. After a Disney musical, a classic Rodgers and Hammerstein production and a more modern interpretation of "Legally Blonde", the cast of 60 North Allegheny students will return to a jazz-age university campus with "Good News", which will debut in 1927.

"For me, it gives them four completely different styles and things to learn, and in the end, is not that why we're all here to give them educational opportunities?", A-t -he declares.

Part of the rehearsals leading up to production on March 13 and 17 included learning slang, music, and jokes from that time when the broadcast on a college quarterback and its tutor was originally written.

"My approach is twofold," he said. "I approach the show as it is written, but we can always change what we do and improve things."

Mindy Rossi-Stabler, who directed the musical for high school girls in Pittsburgh CAPA 6-12, said that the music public could now be more sophisticated and that there were many training opportunities for the younger ones.

"I think people expect a lot more because, frankly, students are much more exposed at a young age," she said.

Fifty students from downtown Pittsburgh will present "Sister Act" March 29-31 and April 4-7.

"The kids are having fun with that because it's a bit irreverent, but it's a lot of fun," Rossi-Stabler said.

The comedy, based on the 1992 film with Whoopi Goldberg, is a break with the drama after the production of "Les Miserables" last year.

"I made so many dramas as a result that one of the teachers asked me," Are you playing a play without someone being killed? " She said.

Below you will find musicals for high schools in our region. In the coming weeks, look for stories and pictures of various shows in Tribune-Review and videos on

If the list does not include your school, contact us at and we will add it. Break a leg!

Armstrong Jr./Sr. Secondary school: High School Musical, March 15-16

Avonworth: "Disney's Little Mermaid", April 5th and 6th, April 12th and 13th

Baldwin: "Mame", April 10-13

Belle Vernon "Big Fish", from March 14 to 17

Bethel Park: "Annie Get Your Gun", March 13-16

Bishop Canevin: "Pippin", April 25 to 27

Brentwood "Mary Poppins", April 11 and 13

Burrell: "The mystery of Edwin Drood", April 4-6

Valley of the Chartiers: Sister Act, March 6-9

Christian Academy of Cheswick: "Dorothy in Wonderland", May 18

Deer Lakes: "Mamma Mia!", April 12 to 14

Derry Area: "The Little Mermaid", March 8-10

Elizabeth Forward: "Mamma Mia", April 11 to 14

Fox Chapel: "Les Miserables", March 14-16

Freeport: "Legally Blonde The Musical", March 14-17

Bridge: "Once on this island", April 26th and 28th, May 3rd and 4th

Catholic Geibel: "Mamma Mia", March 29th and 31st

Greensburg Central Catholic: "Children of Eden", April 26 and 27

Greensburg College Salem: Spring musical, March 21-24

Hampton: "Chicago, High School Edition", April 5th and 6th, April 12th and 13th

Hemp area: "Legally Blonde", April 3-6

Highlands: "The hunchback of Notre-Dame: after Victor Hugo's novel and the Disney movie," from March 29 to 31

Jeannette: "Annie", from April 5th to 7th

Keystone Oaks: "The beauty and the beast", from March 28 to 30

Kiski: "The Sound of Music", March 27-30

Leechburg: "Everything is fine!", March 15 and 17

Ligonier Valley: "In the woods" from April 4th to 6th

Monessen: "Fat", March 28th and 31st

My turn: Footloose, April 5-7, 12-13

Moon: "Mamma Mia", March 14-17

Mt. Pleasant area: "Annie", from April 4th to 6th

North door: "Jungle Book", 6th and 12th of April

Northern Allegheny: "Good news", March 15 and 17

North Hills: "Tuck Everlasting", March 21-23, 28-30

Norwin: Mary Poppins, March 21 and 24

Penn Hills: "Addams Family", April 26th and 27th, May 3rd to 5th

Penn-Trafford: "The Addams Family" from April 5th to 7th, April 12th to 14th

Penn Middle School: Peter Pan Jr., May 9-11

Trafford College: "Beauty and the Beast Jr.", March 29 and 31

Pine-Richland "The guys and the dolls", March 15-16

Pittsburgh Allderdice: "Leader of the pack" from April 4th to 7th

Pittsburgh Brashear: "Small Shop of Horrors", March 28-30

CAPA of Pittsburgh: Sister Act, March 28 to 30, April 4 to 6

Pittsburgh Central Catholic: "Chicago (High School Edition)", April 11th and 13th

Plum: "The Wizard of Oz", April 11-13

Lutheran Redeemer: Mary Poppins, April 5 and 6

View of the river: "Shrek the Musical" March 28-31

Serra Catholic: "The Wizard of Oz", April 4-6

Southmoreland: "The Little Mermaid", March 28-31

Springdale: "Mamma Mia", March 29th and 31st

Saint Joseph: "In the heights" from April 4th to 7th

Stage Right Arts in Home-School Education / Cyberschool: "Annie", May 3rd and 4th

Thomas Jefferson: "Mamma Mia", March 14-16

Valley: "Joseph and the incredible technicolor dream coat", from April 11th to 14th

Waynesburg Central: "Mamma Mia", from April 4th to 7th

Allegheny West: "The Addams Family", March 22-24, March 29-30

Westinghouse Academy of Arts: Footloose, April 12 to 14

Winchester Thurston: "Avenue Q", from April 25 to 28

Woodland Hills: "Mamma Mia!", April 26-27, May 2-4

Yough: "Joseph and the amazing technicolor dream coat", March 29th and 31st