WESTFIELD, NJ — More than 300 Tamaques Elementary School students took part in a variety show held at Westfield High School April 4 and 5 called “Tamaques Takes a Bite Out of the Big Apple.”
The show is one of the school’s oldest traditions and biggest fundraisers, with money raised this year most likely going toward the goal of providing air-conditioning units for all of the classrooms. Students from all grades sang and danced and before a sold-out auditorium both nights.
In addition to raising funds, the production gave kids a chance to express their creativity, show school spirit, work together and experience performing.
“This year is my last year at Tamaques,” said fifth grader Kyle Snyder. “I will miss the fun practices with my friends and showing off on stage at the show.”
Fourth grader Asher Sternberg summed up what he liked best: “When you finish your act and everyone claps, you know you did a great job.”
In the production, a mystical storm erupts and transports students to Times Square in Manhattan in a story inspired by the Wizard of Oz. A group of fifth-grade speakers picked up clues as they traveled through the five boroughs of New York, receiving help along the way from their teachers Josh Miller, Rachel Rubin, Victor Alfonso and Marisa Truselo and guidance counselor Frank Uveges via voice-overs. Clues were also given by Edison Middle School principal Matt Bolton and by Tamaques School principal Michael Cullen.
Mixed throughout the show were 21 New York-themed acts with songs including “Jenny from the Block,” “Boogaloo Down Broadway” and “King of New York.”
The show was produced by Joanne Geschickter and Marielle Brown. Parent volunteers worked for months creating the routines, designating students per each routine, designing scenery and props, rehearsing after school, making costumes, selling and distributing tickets and creating an ad book.
“I really would be remiss if I didn't mention all the children and the directors who gave so much of their time and effort in support of the show,” said Geschickter. “This is really a group effort to bring a show like this to life and I'm extremely grateful.”