They say there are two things in life that you can count on, death and taxes. Well it turns out there is another thing you can count on, and that is if you attend a dramatic production at Sky View High School . . . you will never leave disappointed! This year’s variety show put on by the Sky High Players was an entertaining mix that lived up to what we have come to expect from a Sky View show.
Last week for three performances the Sky High Players performed the variety show Happily Ever After . . . or was it? The show was a fun mix of musical numbers, skits, dances and monologues, set in fairy tails, movie themes, and an imaginative mix of performances by a talented group of students.
The cast was made up of nearly 50 students that entertained on a variety of levels. The show started with the number “Ever Ever After” from the Disney hit Enchanted. After the opening number the large audience was treated to a feel for the eclectic nature of the show with the warped skit of a girl (Emily Shirley) who has a dream that her boyfriend (Kristopher Luthy) killed her unicorn.
From there the show turned back to a musical number made up of Disney stars with the “Storybook Medley.” Cinderella, Aurora, Tiana, Pocahontas, Mulan, Anastasia, and Rapunzel stormed the stage and each sang a song from their respective movie.
This was the first variety show for senior player Taylor Regen, but she has been involved in the musicals and the three act plays every year at Sky View since she was a sophomore. Regen says, “I fell in love when we did the musical, and then I actually dropped one of my French classes to join the three act plays and I’ve been doing it ever since. It is so much fun, it’s such a great thing to do.”
As for plans after high school Regen commented, “I definitely want to do community theater, I don’t think I could stay away from the stage any longer.”
As a flying monkey in last year’s Wizard of Oz, Regen lists that show as the favorite production that she has been involved in. Regen continued, “Being a part of a high school production that was on this level, I feel really privileged actually.”
Regen will finish out her high school performing career in this year’s musical that will be Beauty and the Beast, and in the three act plays after that.
Additional performances in Act I included selections from Shrek the Musical, The Little Mermaid, Annie Get Your Gun, and Grease.
Mr. Sky View himself Grant Fuller is a skilled singer as well as a masterful tap dancer who displayed his talents in the number “Singing in the Rain.” It was a performance that Gene Kelly himself would have been proud of.
Fuller has participated in last year’s musical Wizard of Oz, Encore, Mr. Sky View, and various other productions.
Fuller listed Wizard of Oz and this production of Happily Ever After as his favorites. Speaking of this variety show Fuller said, “Because of the cast and crew, everything’s just went smoothly, we’ve all pulled it together. It’s just been great shows and so much fun to do.”
Fuller first enlisted in a drama production at the urging of his sister Grace, who had been involved while she was at Sky View. Fuller said, “I’ve just loved performing from that moment on.”
Fuller started tap dancing when he was three years old, and was told by his parents that if he wanted to play any other sport he had to tap dance. Fuller commented, “They really wanted me to be well rounded and I really wanted to play soccer so I said ok I’ll tap dance. As I got older, and as I got better I realized this is really such a great field I want to continue with it. I stopped playing some sports freshman year and continued tapping.”
After a brief intermission the performers amped up the performance with a rousing rendition of the Britney Spears number “Toxic.” That was followed by another musical number from the Disney blockbuster show Tangled.
A series of skits followed the musical numbers, most notably “Villain Rehab.” This number featured a therapist trying to work out the angst from popular characters such as Cruella DeVille from 101 Dalmations, Scar from The Lion King, Jafar from Aladdin, and Captain Hook from Peter Pan among others.
Additional musical numbers from Tangled, Anastasia, You’re a Good Man Charlie Brown, Enchanted and Tinkerbell rounded out the balance of Act II. Interspersed in the musical numbers was a monologue with Frodo Baggins and Samwise Gamgee from The Lord of the Rings, and an original number titled “Shakespeare’s Lament” by Bailey Peavier.
Senior player Kristopher Luthy was a key fixture in many of the numbers in this year’s variety show. He sang, he danced, he was even “The Big Bad Wolf” in one of the skits. Luthy was also in the Wizard of Oz musical production last year and participated in the murder mystery dinner theater.
Of preparing for this show and his desire to be in the upcoming musical Luthy kidded, “I would really like to be in the musical this year. My dad says I’m too sleep deprived and he’s not sure if he’s going to let me. But, I’d really like to do that though.”
Luthy commented on his experiences performing at Sky View saying, “I really like performing. I really like the people in drama. I enjoy learning, I’d never done ballroom dancing before I had done this, and so I’m learning new skills. I feel like lots of skills that I have learned in drama transfer over to other aspects. For example I do debate, and a lot of the things like how you articulate, how you pronounce things, how you project, a lot of that directly translates over to debate so it has really helped me.”
The final number featured the song “When You Wish Upon a Star” from Pinocchio featuring the senior players front and center backed up by the rest of the cast.
The show was a fantastic mix of music and entertainment that held something for everyone. The audience was held spellbound by the charisma and charm of the well produced and exquisitely choreographed show. The performance was under the direction or Nan Wharton and musical director Jennifer Bohman.