WARREN, NJ - Some 18 Watchung Hills Regional High School (WHRHS) students entertained an audience of friends, family members, faculty members and fans, singing 14 songs and performing a comedy routine at the 2019 Script and Cue sponsored Cabaret, Wednesday, Oct. 23, on the stage of the Performing Arts Center (PAC).

All the student performers will be back on the stage Thursday, Nov. 21, Friday, Nov. 22, and Saturday, Nov. 23, for the Fall Drama Presentation, “Almost, Maine.” The play, by playwright and novelist author John Cariani, is comprised of nine short plays that explore love and loss in a remote, mythical “almost-town” called Almost, Maine. 

It premiered in 2004 at the Portland Stage Company in Portland, Maine, where it received critical acclaim. In 2017-2018, it earned the distinction of being the most produced play in North American high schools, besting even “A Midsummer Night's Dream,” by none other than William Shakespeare.

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Almost, Maine opened Off-Broadway with a one-month limited engagement at the Daryl Roth Theatre in January, 2006. The Daryl Roth Theatre is a legendary off-Broadway performance space at 101 East 15th Street, near Union Square, in Manhattan. 

‘Coffee House” Sensibility

The large PAC stage, with its likewise large audience capacity,was once again adapted for the more intimate “coffee house” for the Script and Cue Cabaret. This adaptation of the space is by now familiar to WHRHS audiences. It has been used during the past several school years for Cabaret and coffee house evenings of individual and small group performances. These have beenorganized by the school’s Drama, Music and English Departments. In the case of this school year’s first of such coffee houses, as has been the case in previous years’ coffee houses, both performers and audience were confined to the main stage. They were bathed in blue lighting. 

Bare brick walls and stage rigging were exposed to add the feel of a typical mid-20th Century Greenwich Village coffee house. The performers sang and acted from a small, portable stage placed at one end of the stage. The audience sat at coffee house type small round tables or in rows of folding chairs. 

For “Almost, Maine,” and later in the school year, Dec. 12 and 19, for the Winter Band and Choral concerts, and March 19-21, for the Spring Musical, “Matilda,” the PAC will be returned to its full glory as the Watchung Hills region’s major performance space. The stage will, once again, be seating for thousands of students, parents, families, elders and community well-wishers. Likewise, fully utilized will be the PAC stage, whose dimensions and versatilities can support hundreds of student singers, actors and crew members, not to mention scene settingsand lighting designs, all working as a team.

Cabaret Performance Line-up

Script and Cue’s Student President Jack Melillo, and Junior Promotional Officer Maddie Johnson opened the evening, welcoming the audience, while also reminding all that “Almost, Maine” will be performed on Nov. 21-23.

Junior Promotional Officer Jackie Harrison, was the first performer, singing “Riptide,” by Vance Joy. She accompanied herself on ukulele.

Nina DiNorscio sang “Everlasting,” from the Broadway musical, “Tuck Everlasting.”

Paul Riedler sang “The Scientist” by the band, “Coldplay.” Heaccompanied himself on guitar.

Christine Tanko sang, “Something Different,” from the Broadway musical, “The Band’s Visit.”

Melillo returned to the stage to sing a duet with Olivia Kider, “All I’ve Ever Known,” from the Broadway musical, “Hadestown.”

Later in the night, Ariya Blow sang “Flowers,” also from “Hadestown.”

Jordan Pincus and Mia Hionis sang a duet, “Secondary Characters,” from the one-act musical, titled “[title of the show].” The song called for a dance routine, which they also performed.

Tanko returned to the stage to sing a duet with Giovanna DiSanto, “A Boy Like That/I Have I Love” from the Broadway musical, “West Side Story.”  The iconic musical is currently in revival on Broadway.

Malvika George sang, “Can’t Help Falling In Love,” the legendary Elvis Presley song.

Michael Banker sang “I’m Not Smart,” from the Broadway musical, “The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee.”

Nicholas Harrison and John Doucette performed the comedy routine, “Fire Safety PSA,” from “Red Vs. Blue,” often abbreviated as RvB.

Melillo and Kider returned to the stage to sing “It Only Takes a Taste,” from the Broadway musical, “Waitress.”

Dana Wasserman sang “History of Wrong Guys,” from the Broadway musical, “Kinky Boots.”

DiSanto, who is the Script and Cue Vice president, returned to the stage to sing solo, “Perfect,” from the musical, “Edges.”

And, a three-piece band featuring lead vocal by Sam Bouffard, and accompanied by his dad, JP Bouffard, and Senior Ben Kosakowski, on guitars and harmony vocals, performed “This Boy,” by The Beatles.

 

WHRHS PHOTOS Script and Cue Cabaret Performers

Some 18 Watchung Hills Regional High School (WHRHS) students gather on stage after they were thrilled to entertain an audience of friends, family members, faculty members and fans, singing some 15 songs at the 2019 Script and Cue sponsored Cabaret, Wednesday, Oct. 23 in the Performing Arts Center (PAC). All the student performers will be back on stage Thursday, Nov. 21, Friday, Nov. 22, and Saturday, Nov. 23, for the Fall Drama Presentation, “Almost, Maine.”  

 

WHRHS PHOTOS Audience Bathed in Blue Light

The large WHRHS Performing Arts Center (PAC) stage was once again adapted for the more intimate “coffee house” for the Script and Cue Cabaret. To help create the atmosphere, the audience members were bathed in blue light.

 

WHRHS PHOTOS Ariya Blow, Giovanna DiSanto, Christine Sanko and Maddie Johnson

Four of the Script and Cue members who contributed to the success of the 2019 Cabaret Night on Oct. 23, had entertained parents earlier in the month at the annual Back to School Night, Oct. 3. They stood in front of a display about all the various Choral Music classes, activities and offerings at WHRHS, andsang an array of songs. At Cabaret Night, they each were on stage: From left, Ariya Blow sang “Flowers” from “Hadestown:” Giovanna DiSanto sang “Perfect” from “Edges;” Christine Sanko sang “Something Different,” from “The Band’s Visit;” and Maddie Johnson acted as one of the MCs. In addition, DiSanto and Tanko sang a duet, “A Boy Like That/ I Have I Love,” from “West Side Story.”

 

WHRHS PHOTOS Jackie Harrison

Jackie Harrison sang “Riptide,” by Vance Joy at Cabaret Night. She accompanied herself on ukulele.

 

WHRHS PHOTOS Olivia Kider and Jack Melillo

Olivia Kider, left, and Jack Melillo sang two duets at Cabaret Night: “All I’ve Ever Known,” from the Broadway musical, “Hadestown,” and “It Only Takes a Taste,” from the Broadway musical, “Waitress.”

 

WHRHS PHOTOS Paul Riedler

Paul Riedler sang “The Scientist” by the band, “Coldplay,” at Cabaret Night. He accompanied himself on guitar.

 

WHRHS PHOTOS Mia Hionis and Jordan Pincus

Mia Hionis, left, and Jordan Pincus sang a duet, “Secondary Characters,” from the one-act musical, titled “[title of the show],” a Cabaret Night. The song called for a dance routine, which they also performed.

 

WHRHS PHOTOS Malvika George

Malvika George sang, “Can’t Help Falling In Love,” the legendary Elvis Presley song, ag Cabaret Night.

 

WHRHS PHOTOS Michael Banker

Michael Banker sang “I’m Not Smart,” from the Broadway musical, “The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee,” at Cabaret Night.

 

WHRHS PHOTOS Nicholas Harrison and John Doucette

Nicholas Harrison and John Doucette performed the comedy routine, “Fire Safety PSA,” from “Red Vs. Blue,” often abbreviated as RvB, at Cabaret Night.

 

WHRHS PHOTOS Dana Wasserman

Dana Wasserman sang “History of Wrong Guys,” from theBroadway musical, “Kinky Boots,” at Cabaret Night.

 

WHRHS PHOTOS Sam Bouffard Trio Onstage

And, a three-piece band featuring lead vocal by Sam Bouffard, right, and accompanied by his dad, JP Bouffard, left, and Senior Ben Kosakowski, center, on guitars and harmony vocals, performed “This Boy,” by The Beatles, at Cabaret Night.