Rebecca A. Rose is committed to making her new idea for a school musical work. As evidence: she has managed to persuade grown men to dance to I Will Survive in front of live audiences.
Its part of Hooray for Hollywood! A Film Music Revue tonight and Saturday at Case Middle School.
Mrs. Rose, a general music and choral teacher at the school who directs the annual musical, has staged a revue every five years.
This year, she and co-director Emily Kimbo were torn between doing a revue and doing the musical Cinderella.
A compromise was reached. The revue is tonight and Saturday. In the spring, Case students will present Cinderella on stage at Watertown High School.
The film music revue will include such songs as I Will Survive, featured in the 1994 musical comedy The Adventures of Priscilla, Queen of the Desert.
We have seven guys dressed up in Priscilla, Queen of the Desert outfits, Mrs. Rose said.
Those volunteers include a science teacher, a probation officer, an Army lieutenant colonel and an accountant.
Mrs. Rose, who is known for getting community members and high schoolers involved in her middle school productions, said Hooray for Hollywood was influenced by her annual trip to New York City, where she attends the Broadway Teachers Workshop. The Wall Street Journal has called the workshop a sort of summer camp for theater instructors.
This past summer, we learned about staging in new and different spaces, she said.
The gym, she said, will be modeled after a Greek theater stage for the revue. She said a challenge was how they would change the stage with the lights always on and the stage exposed at all times. She said wardrobe changes, movie posters and lighted artificial trees will add pizzazz to the set.
Another new aspect of the revue is that much of it is being managed by students.
The choreography, the narrations, many of our rehearsals are all student-created and run, Mrs. Rose said.
Mrs. Rose and students selected 22 selections of the best loved movie music of all time. Besides I Will Survive, other selections include Unchained Melody, Putting on the Ritz, Singing in the Rain and Witch Doctor.
I like to call this revue my beta, Mrs. Rose said. Its an all new idea, new format, new venue.
She said if it works out, the school will start having two productions a year: a revue in the gym and a traditional musical at the high school stage.
I do have five years of revues planned if Hooray for Hollywood is a success, she said.
But she added, If it doesnt work, it was great to do it once.