After a break of almost nine months, the Laramie High School musical theater program is set to return to the stage this weekend with a revue of classic songs by Rodgers and Hammerstein.
“A Grand Night for Singing” is scheduled for 7 p.m. Friday and 3 p.m. and 7 p.m. Saturday at the LHS theater, 1710 Boulder Dr. Tickets are $8 for adults and $6 for students.
Audience seating is limited to 250, and tickets must be purchased in advance at lhstg7838.booktix.com.
“A Grand Night for Singing” is a family-friendly production that showcases hits by songwriting duo Richard Rodgers and Oscar Hammerstein, who composed and wrote lyrics for dozens of Broadway musicals. The revue collects more than 30 favorites in one place while celebrating young love, romantic commitment, deepening relationships and the pain of love lost.
Senior Marie Andersen said the show features three main couples who struggle and succeed in their relationships in different ways, experiencing a variety of outcomes in their quest for love.
“One gets divorced, one marriage dies and the third is married to the end of the show,” she said.
That the show has even made it to the stage is a testament to the perseverance and flexibility of the cast and director Mike Hancey. Their last production was at the end of January, and they were partway through rehearsing for their spring show when schools moved online in March.
“After last spring, we just needed to do a show,” Hancey said. “They needed to have that experience, whether it’s for five people or 250 people.”
The cast has rehearsed despite students only attending classes in person two days a week. They’ve also had to juggle schedules when various students are stuck at home because of possible exposure to COVID-19.
“This show requires a lot of flexibility,” said senior Charlie Lockard.
Meanwhile, the cast has learned to sing while wearing a mask and dance while maintaining social distance. Senior Ryan Chamberlain said one of the biggest challenges is conveying emotions to the audience with most of his face covered.
“I’ve been focusing on making motions and gestures big and trying to act with my eyes and through the vocal tones,” he said.
Senior Braylen Bleak said they’ve also been challenged to demonstrate being in love without touching one’s partner.
“It’s difficult to portray that without touching, but I think we’re getting it,” she said.
Cast members said “A Grand Night for Singing” ultimately offers a happy escape from the heaviness of reality.
“It’s nice to have something to distract you from what’s happening now,” Andersen said.