I hadn’t planned to write another column on this year’s Spring Musical, which was presented and produced by the OA Music Department and which it performed over this past weekend. I wrote a column that ran last Thursday in which I promoted the musical.
I attended the Sunday matinee of the performance, Thoroughly Modern Millie, and, you know, from start to finish the show was just superb and a demonstration of love, commitment, dedication, hard work, admirable audacity and pizzazz - and the highest level of teamwork.
It was exceptional – absolutely exceptional.
Then again, I knew it would be.
I was not surprised at all with the enthusiastic standing ovation that the crowd gave at the end of the show.
So I am compelled to write another column focused on the musical.
Yes, for sure, the leads, Livvy Marcus, as Millie Dillmount, and Jared Wise, as Jimmy Smith, were all stars. They were great. But all the actors were superb.
And here I do a special call out – an unashamed call out – to Morgan Capodilupo, who in the role of Mrs. Meers was funny, bold, and had the audience fully engaged. Ms. Capodilupo deserves this praise; she is a tremendously gifted actor.
Yet, also, I must come clean here; Ms. Capodilupo is a favorite of mine for another reason. You see, she is a regular reader of this column. Smart young lady – this Morgan Capodilupo.
You don’t have to look far or for long to find in our society – especially in the news headlines – people disagreeing and being negative and emitting all sorts of bad energy.
All this dissension and negativity is a big reason that when you see young people, our future, performing so cooperatively and in synch and in pursuit of a common goal – and when you see so many young people sharing a dream – well, it makes you smile and it gives you hope.
As I noted , the OA team which produced and performed, Thoroughly Modern Millie, numbered 90 players; that includes 58 in the cast, 33 in the orchestra, and 10 in the crew.
As for this team, this high performing team, each member is essential for success. And as you sit there in the audience enjoying the show, you have no way of knowing – as should be the case – if an actor comes from filthy wealth or modest circumstances.
As well, when that curtain rises, and these young men and women walk on to a stage without a net, they need one another, they rely on one another – and all of this happens without regard for the numbers on mommy's or daddy’s W-2 form.
OA Director of Music, Charlene Dalrymple, was the coach who mentored this championship performance. And she will be the first to tell you that she had an assistant coaching staff that was all pro.
I was thoroughly impressed with the dance routines; they were unity in motion. And the choreographer of the performance? That would be Pamela Sheiber.
My OA classmate, Peggy (Sibley) Wentworth, was the assistant director. One of my Facebook friends, another OA alum, Connie (Denesha) Panselinas, was an rehearsal assistant, and on March 6, Connie emailed me with a request, with which I was only happy and enthusiastic to comply, to publicize the musical.
From conductor to set design to costume design to lighting to ticket sales to scenic artist to stage crew … and more …. there were like 70-plus people in the production team.
Look through the program booklet, and you find business after business, person after person, who gave money to support the musical. They all deserve thanks.
Of course, the performers could not perform at their best without supportive family and friends. They should also take a bow.
Attending the matinee of the musical on Sunday afternoon, it was nice and heartening to see, and I am confident that this was the way it was for the Friday and Saturday night performances, that the audience was a mix of the young, middle aged, and the old, of townies, of non-natives who have been here for a long time, and the newly arrived.
It was all good, this OA Musical Department presentation of Thoroughly Modern Millie.
Everyone involved in making it happen gave a gift to the audience and the community.
Yet in the end, perhaps the most enduring value – that which will pay untold and incalculable dividends for years to come – are the lessons the young people learned, the character in them it built and solidified, and the friendship and teamwork they experienced as they, together, did something supremely well.