All the hard work and sweat has paid off. The costumes are being fitted and the stage is set. Makeup is being applied to the Siamese children and the King and Anna practice a last twirl before the curtain goes up. There are vocal and physical warm-ups for all the actors. And don’t forget the mike checks. Excitement is in everyone’s face and opening night jitters are being calmed by the director and the more seasoned cast members. Last minute preparations are being made; props and spotlights are being checked. “Is my skirt on straight? Is my makeup on right? Where are my shoes? I think I forgot all my lines! What happens when I get on stage?” These are all the questions that fly through the dressing rooms. And, of course, every question has a positive answer. This is the craziness and “magic” that happens when opening night arrives. It is a special time for everyone. You can feel the electricity in the air. The orchestra is tuning up and you can hear the audience behind the big main curtain. Then it happens, the overture has ended and the curtain rises. The lights come up. Rogers and Hammerstein’s The King and I, one of the most delightful musicals written for the American stage, comes to life. There is no feeling like it in the world.
This is the moment that the actors at Elmhurst High School have been working on for the last 8 weeks. Opening night! “I am so happy to have been part of this wonderful experience,” says senior Kari Chapel. “It’s been fun!” chimes in Harris third grader, Nikolas Wright. “My whole class is coming to see it,” quips Lindley third grader Xochitl Arrelleno. “I am so excited about this,” Britany Derrow, a fifth grader from Lindley happily blurts out. Senior, Allie Townsend says, “It is great working with the younger children in this musical. It has been a treat!” Everyone in the cast enjoys one another and respects one another. The older high school students have become role models to the younger cast members and there is a tight bond between all the ages.
The director, Maggie Kole Hunter states, “Working in a musical or any play for that matter, brings people together. Everyone is working toward a common goal. I am very fortunate. The cast for The King and I has been a treasure to work with.”
So come on out and support these fine young people and applaud their efforts when you see the best musical to come to Waynedale/Fort Wayne. The King and I runs Friday, April 22 and Saturday, April 23 at 7:30pm and Sunday, April 24 at 2:00pm at the Elmhurst High School auditorium. Tickets for all performances are $8.00. For ticket information and reservations, please call 425-7510 extension 169.
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