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December  10

The Kids Are Alright

Montclair High’s School of Visual and Performing Arts (SVPA), who brought you Ragtime and Les Miserables, has a new show. "Showcase 2006! Comedy (the musical)" has two remaining performances: tonight, 8 pm, and tomorrow, 3 pm. Little Theater at Montclair High School Annex, 141 Park St. Tickets, $10, available at the door.

December 10, 2005 in Theater | Permalink


That one girl is real off with her arm movements there.

Posted by: katie | Dec 11, 2005 6:11:30 PM

Way to go kids! A show takes alot of hard work, time and effort. How about some supportive comments for kids that are involved in positive activities, baristanet community?

Posted by: Maureen- a Bloomfield resident | Dec 11, 2005 7:04:37 PM

When I saw Les Mis last year I was absolutely floored. I had seen it on Broadway, and the distance between the kids' production of Les Mis, and the Broadway professionals, was miniscule. Indeed I thought some of the singing at the HS was superior to Broadway.

This is an outstanding program, run on an enormous amount of volunteer help. Teachers who have retired years before continue coming back to help. The kids practice for months and the productions always come out to raves.

This a great group of kids, who deserve our support.


Posted by: cary | Dec 11, 2005 8:00:13 PM

Didn't have a chance to catch Les Mis at MHS, but did see the Bloomfield High production....it was incredible!

I agree, the students and staff at these schools put in long hours to create some truly amazing shows. They should be recognized!

Mark your calendars...the BHS All School Production will present Children of Eden on Feb. 23-26, 2006.

Anyone know what show MHS will be doing in late winter?

Posted by: jan-o | Dec 12, 2005 12:15:46 AM

The MHS Winter production -- I believe performances are in February -- will be Metamorphosis.

The Spring Musical will be Cats.

It would be great if the Town websites would publish info on upcoming HS productions, or at least provide some link to a web site that does.

Posted by: cary | Dec 12, 2005 6:35:10 AM

I worked on the Broadway production (and others) of 'Les Mis' and while I am sure that Pat Dearborn runs a terrific program, I cannot imagine any comparison.

High end professional productions employ performers who have spent years in dance classes, voice lessons, movement training and acting classes. A young performer can aspire and have the talent to achieve the same level of craft, but it is highly unlikely that any given school will have more than one individual with that potential at any time.

Not to mention the professional demand of performing 8 shows a week. This is hard work.

This type of comparison is insulting to professional performers (not to mention the rest of the production staff required to mount a show) and deceiving to the students. It would be particularly damaging to that student who might have a future as a professional performer.

Posted by: Kevin Lee Allen | Dec 12, 2005 8:32:58 AM


What a curmugeon you are - what a downer - parents and relatives are *not* to take any pride in the kids performances.

Students are not to be encouraged they are to be told how far far far they are from being professional.

I haven't seen either of the shows- have you?

Shame shame shame on you!

Posted by: badd_patti | Dec 12, 2005 9:43:26 AM

Don't worry, Kevin. The kids will eventually find out on their own that the rest of the world isn't quite as enamored of them as mommy and daddy.

Posted by: fritzie | Dec 12, 2005 9:55:02 AM


You've read a lot into Kevin's comments. I don't see where he is saying that parents should have no pride in their children's performances or not give them encouragement. Come on, now, you can't see that Kevin is saying that comparing a high school performance to a Broadway production is not healthy to an aspiring performer because it may encourage them to think that their show business road is easy street?

How many professional productions have you worked on? How many years of your life have you sacrificed to get to the Broadway stage?

Posted by: sharky | Dec 12, 2005 9:57:24 AM


Sorry poor Kevin is insulted by a couple of proud parents and feels the need to cut the kids down.

Personally, I think it's great that there's enthusiasm for the kids performances!

Has he seen the shows (I assume you'd know).

I don't work on Broadway- never claimed I have or do- do you?

Posted by: badd_patti | Dec 12, 2005 10:15:11 AM

"You gotta have a dream,
If you don't gotta dream,
How you gonna make your dream come true?"

-- Bloody Mary

If you are trying to draw comparisons between amateur and professional productions, there really are none. But every time I watch "Inside the Actor's Studio," there is usually a comment about a high school or college production the actor appeared in that provided the incentive to try for the big time. Let us encourage these performers as best we can; these kids have a good idea of the level at which they are performing - it's up to them to take it to the next step.

Posted by: Conan the Grammarian | Dec 12, 2005 10:27:13 AM

My point was not that students should not be encouraged, my point was simply that the praise offered here could have the reverse affect.

I have seen students move from being a 'star' in high school to the bottom of the barrel on a college level. I have seen over developed (and over praised) egos destroy nascent careers.

I think you can praise talent, energy, determination or stage presence without offering that praise in a way that might make a young, stage-struck performer think they are ready for prime time.

Posted by: Kevin Lee Allen | Dec 12, 2005 11:05:35 AM

MHS kids are amazing! I am not easily amazed but last year I got chills after I saw Ragtime. I am a singer/actor myself and I can easily pick out talent from mediocrity, and let me tell you these kids are not mediocre. As for you Mr. Kevin Lee Allen, I am quite sure the MHS kids know they're not up to Broadway standards, it would be impossible given they are high school students and cannot rehearse 8 hours a week, but given their circumstances MHS is pretty damn close to many professional productions. And why are you raining on their parade, a true professional in the business is respectful and decent to others in the business.
One of the longest running shows on Broadway , RENT hired some untrained actors and singers and was amazing. Talent cannot always be cultivated, sometimes it just is there. Thank You

Posted by: Margot | Dec 12, 2005 5:31:39 PM

I saw this MHS production on Sunday. I have no kids in the show; no kids in the HS. I just went out of curiosity. And I have to say about the kid who played the Director: if he's not on Broadway in the next five years, I'll eat my hat.

Posted by: jw | Dec 13, 2005 8:29:56 AM

Meanwhile, no word on any selection for a spring musical in Glen Ridge this year; or even for sure that there will be one. The fall play was cancelled.

Posted by: The Barista | Dec 13, 2005 9:05:58 AM

I haven't seen this show, but the MHS SVA always does a great job.

I am not an entertainment professional, but speaking as an electrical engineer with several years of experience in Advanced Developement projects, I was very impressed by the MHS Robotics Club when they gave ther annual demonstration to the Montclair Society of Engineers (please mark May 19 on you calender for their next demonstration).

Both of these are examples of what is right with MHS.

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