Arts & Entertainment

Leaping Lizards Defeat Spotswood Schoolers

Appleby fifth graders took the court against their teachers on February 25 in a fundraiser for their upcoming Drama Club performance of "Annie Jr." Credits: Dawn Miller
Leaping Lizard Cheerleaders provided spirit on the sidelines and during game breaks. Credits: Dawn Miller
Third grade teacher, Claudia Addesso, was the hit of the evening, drawing smiles and laughs from the players and crowd. Credits: Dawn Miller

SPOTSWOOD, NJ - The Spotswood High School Gymnasium was rocking last night and it wasn't just the thunderstorm outside causing all the excitement. A group of spirited fifth graders, making up the Appleby School's Drama Club, took the court against a team comprised of their teachers and staff. The Leaping Lizards were made up of fifth graders performing in the school's annual spring production. This year's play is "Annie Jr." The spring performance has become a tradition at the school for Appleby fifth graders. Helmetta Mayor Chris Slavicek will be directing his fifteenth production this April. Mr. Chris, as he is affectionately known to students, staff and parents, was also the coach of the Leaping Lizards.

The game is a fundraiser for the student production, with all of the proceeds from the February 25 basketball game going towards the April 27, 28 and 29 performances. A team of 13 Appleby teachers and staff including, Claudia Addesso, Megan Curto, Catherine Fitzgerald, Jill Laskowski, Kerri McDonnell, Lauren Siwiak, Nicole VonFrolio, Kristen Tempera, Randi Snook, Stephanie Weisslitz, Denise Dellaglio and Maria Karczewski,hit the court to take on their students. Spotswood High School Business, Vocational and Techonology Education teacher, Andrew Zaborney provided the play-by-play. Zaborney's son Nick will be playing the part of the Dog Catcher in the upcoming play.

Parent-volunteers played a central part in the evening, selling concessions, 50/50 raffle tickets and even reffing the game. The Leaping Lizards took a 28-22 lead into the halftime break and went on to win the game 54-44. While the kids and teachers were all smiles whenever they made a basket, the mood of the evening was more about fun than winning.

Sign Up for E-News

Halftime and between quarter entertainment was provided by the Leaping Lizards Cheerleaders. Participation in the game was voluntary for the student-performers. They had the option of signing up to be players or cheerleaders. Each players got to play two three-minute shifts to ensure that all of the 40-plus players were able to hit the court for a turn while the cheerleaders showed off the spirit on the sidelines and during breaks.

Addesso was the hit of the game as she frolicked and kidded with players, giving tees a tug and the occasional rolling ball a gentle kick. The third grade teacher even got in a playful tussle with former student, Joseph Squillante over the basketball to the enjoyment of both the players and enthusiastic crowd. 

Savannah Rosario will be taking on the title roll in the upcoming Appleby School Drama Club production. "Annie Jr." is based on the popular, long-running comic strip featuring the lovable red-haired orphan and her dog, Sandy. It was adapted from the Tony-winning musical that premiered on Broadway in 1977.

The curtain will rise on "Annie Jr." on April 27, 28 and 29. Evening performances begin at 6:30 p.m. There will also be a 2 p.m. matinee performance on April 29 in addition to the evening curtain. Students will put on a free performance for area seniors on April 26.

TAP Into Another Town's News:

You May Also Be Interested In

Sign Up for E-News


New Brunswick Opens Cooling Centers As Temperatures Approach Record Highs

June 19, 2018

NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ - On a day when forecasters are predicting temperatures in the mid-90s and a heat index even higher, the city has opened two cooling centers for people to escape the heat.

The New Brunswick Free Public Library at 60 Livingston Ave., and the New Brunswick Senior Citizen Resource Center at 812 Huntington St., have been designated as cooling centers, city officials announced ...

Suspect Arrested with Loaded Gun and Marijuana in Franklin

June 19, 2018

SOMERVILLE, N.J. – A Franklin Township man is being held in the Somerset County Jail pending a court hearing after he was arrested by police with a loaded gun and suspected marijuana, according to Somerset County Prosecutor Michael H. Robertson.

Michael Davis, 19 of Almond Drive, is charged with 2nd degree Unlawful Possession of a Weapon,  4th degree Possession of Prohibited Weapons ...

Upcoming Events

Sat, July 14, 10:00 AM

Maplewood Memorial Library, Maplewood

Bag-of-Books Sale - Friends of Maplewood Library

Wed, July 25, 7:30 PM

Chatham United Methodist Church, Chatham

Masterwork’s Summer Sings Conclude with Verdi ...

Girl Scout Seeks Donations of Craft Items Tomorrow

June 7, 2018

Hi, EB Community, 

I am Alexandra Gonzalez. I am currently a Junior at EBHS. I am as well a Girl Scout and working on my Gold Award. I am in search of donations and would like to inform you on the issue my project will address, how you can help, and why this is important. 

The project I am working on will be impacting the Special education students in East Brunswick Public ...

Rutgers Equine Science Center Annual Summer Showcase Scheduled for July 11

June 17, 2018

NEW BRUNSWICK, N.J. — The Equine Science Center at Rutgers University is hosting its annual "Summer Showcase" from 10 am to noon  on Wednesday, July 11 at the Equine Exercise Physiology Laboratory on College Farm Road on the George H. Cook Campus in New Brunswick. The Summer Showcase, similar to an open house, is a FREE event that is open to the public and perfect for any and ...

Third-annual Juneteenth Parade and Heritage Festival in New Brunswick this Weekend

June 13, 2018

NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ - The Vulcan Pioneers of New Brunswick, comprising the city's Black Fire Fighters Association, will host the Juneteenth Parade on Saturday, June 16 to commemorate the Emancipation Proclamation.

Juneteenth celebrations are held across the country to mark the announcement of the abolition of slavery in Texas in June 1865. That state was one of the last locations to learn of ...

The Woman in the Window by A.J. Finn

The Woman in the Window by A.J. Finn (William Morrow, 2018)


A friend, whose opinion on literature I respect greatly, reported to me recently that she had just finished reading A.J. Finn's debut novel, The Woman in the Window. Of it she said, “I wish I hadn't finished it,” which I interpreted to mean, “It was so good I'm sorry that I finished it.” ...