Arts & Entertainment

SPFHS Grad Will Direct Music for Classic Rodgers and Hart Musical for Stage Craft Studio

Alex Karakis at Stage Craft Studio in Scotch Plains. Credits: Stage Craft Studio
Karakis promises strong jazz influences throughout the performance of Babes in Arms due to the time period it was written, saying the score is "incredible" and didn't need much alteration. Credits: Courtesy of Alex Karakis
Babes in Arms Credits: Stage Craft Studio
Alex Karakis as Kenickie in SPFHS's production of Grease this spring. Credits: John Mooney

Alex Karakis, a 2015 graduate at Scotch Plains-Fanwood High School, will musically direct the Rodgers and Hart classic, Babes in Arms, at the Stage Craft Studio at Union Catholic High School on June 26th and 27th at 8pm and June 28th at 3pm. The musical features songs such as "Johnny One-Note,” “The Lady is a Tramp,” and “I Wish I Were in Love Again.”

Recently named “Outstanding Jazz Soloist” when SPFHS participated in the annual “Festivals of Music” competition in Washington D.C., Karakis will attend the Manhattan School of Music in the fall. He comes from a musical family and began playing piano at the age of 6. He took lessons and trained classically for 8 years, before switching gears and studying improvisation and jazz styles at age 14.

“There are so many aspects of putting on a show that people, both on the stage and in the audience, would never even think about. I never knew just how many small things go into putting on a production until I became responsible for making some of them happen,” Karakis said. “It's definitely been a learning experience, but ultimately we're ready to open and we're excited to share what we've worked on with the audience.”

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Karakis recently played Kenickie in SPFHS's production of Grease.

“One of the major things I take into account is how the actor wants the music to feel. I know that if song tempos are not aligned with what the actor wants or certain sections don't follow how the actor wants to bend the time it can be annoying, which then takes the actor out of the mindset of his character. Because of this, I try my hardest to make sure every actor is comfortable with the music and that we're playing it the exact way they want to perform it,” Karakis added.

Stage Craft Studio Presents Rodgers and Hart’s Babes in Arms at Union Catholic High School,1600 Martine Ave. in Scotch Plains. Tickets are $15 Adults/$12 Students and Seniors. Tickets available at or 866-967-8167

For more information about Stage Craft Studio, click here.

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