MONTVILLE, NJ - Montville High School features a great variety of talent and skills from its student body. Over 100 Montville residents got to see the musical side of the high schoolers at the bi-annual Broadway Night on Oct. 30.
“Broadway Night has been around for the past six years,” said Scott Baird, who is the advisor/director of Montville Theatre Company at the high school. “It has been a great opportunity for our students to showcase their talents. We also use the money raised to support the shows that we produce. Tonight, there are 24 students performing a variety of Broadway hits.”
Aside from drama activities, Broadway Night was also an occasion to support Breast Cancer and Autism Awareness Months. Many of the high school singers wore pink ribbons and ties for the former cause. During the spring season of Broadway Night, back in April, students wore blue in honor of the latter.
“Broadway Night was spectacular,” said senior Jeffrey Gallup, who has sung for the event for four years. “It’s the best one in a while with no weak links! All the hard work paid off a thousand-fold.”
Gallup is a co-president of the MTHS Theatre Company and sang “Tango Maureen” from Rent, alongside classmate Michelle Georgescu. Both students even got to dance together tango-style during their performance.
“Broadway Night is a really remarkable event for us,” said senior Matthew Krase, who sang “Santa Fe” from Newsies. “Rehearsals were long, but all the effort we made was worth it. Everyone was so heavily involved and it’s cool to see our drama family evolved into what they are.”
Piano and percussion music during each performance was provided by Kristen Markowski, Drama Club advisor and musical director for all Broadway Night productions, and Dakota Singerline.
For this season, Montville students chose from a wide variety of Broadway classics, such as Ragtime, Merrily We Roll Along, The Black Suits, Once, Waitress, Carousel, A New Brain, Matilda, Once on this Island, Hair, Fame, West Side Story and Into the Woods.
Broadway Night acts as a fundraiser for activities of the MTHS Theatre Company. For every event, the students also select a charity to donate money towards. This season, over $1,000 was collected for high school drama productions, and for Breast Cancer and Autism Awareness Months.
The over 100 spectators, such as Montville resident Kim DiBenedetto, were happy to not only see their ticket money go to worthy causes, but to have the chance to see their local teenagers display their vocal powers.
“This year’s Broadway Night is fantastic,” said DiBenedetto, who got to see her sophomore daughter Santina start off the show with “The Lamest Place in the World” from 13. “It’s great that the high school gives all the kids an opportunity to perform in one way or another. The shows get better and better every year. And I’m honored and thrilled that my daughter can be a part of it.”
Another proud parent and township resident Bella Lamela was also happy to see her daughter, sophomore Raelle, perform “Little Girls” from Annie.
“The talent in this high school is unbelievable,” said Lamela. “The skill set of these students is very impressive and it’s wonderful they have the chance to do this. And the teachers do a phenomenal job.”
This week, from Nov. 14 - 16, MTHS Theatre Company will hold its fall production of The Importance of Being Earnest, all shows starting at 7:30 p.m.
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