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North Hills

North Hills set for spring musical 'Dames at Sea'

| Thursday, March 1, 2018, 8:55 p.m.
North Hills cast rehearses on Wednesday, Feb. 14 for the opening to their musical 'Dames at Sea.'
Louis Raggiunti | For the Tribune-Review
North Hills cast rehearses on Wednesday, Feb. 14 for the opening to their musical 'Dames at Sea.'
Megan Medfisch, as Mona Kent, rehearses on Feb. 14 for North Hills High School's musical 'Dames at Sea.'
Louis Raggiunti | For the Tribune-Review
Megan Medfisch, as Mona Kent, rehearses on Feb. 14 for North Hills High School's musical 'Dames at Sea.'
On Wednesday, Feb. 14, the North Hills cast rehearses the opening for their musical 'Dames at Sea.'
Louis Raggiunti | For the Tribune-Review
On Wednesday, Feb. 14, the North Hills cast rehearses the opening for their musical 'Dames at Sea.'
Ryleigh Bruner, as Ruby, and Aidan Kelly, as Dick, rehearse for North Hills High School's musical 'Dames at Sea' on Wednesday, Feb. 14, 2018.
Louis Raggiunti | For the Tribune-Review
Ryleigh Bruner, as Ruby, and Aidan Kelly, as Dick, rehearse for North Hills High School's musical 'Dames at Sea' on Wednesday, Feb. 14, 2018.
Nick Page, left, as Hennesey, Ryleigh Bruner as Ruby, and Jane Fusco, as Joan, rehearse Wednesday, Feb. 14, for North Hills High School's musical 'Dames at Sea.'
Louis Raggiunti | For the Tribune-Review
Nick Page, left, as Hennesey, Ryleigh Bruner as Ruby, and Jane Fusco, as Joan, rehearse Wednesday, Feb. 14, for North Hills High School's musical 'Dames at Sea.'
North Hills sixth-grade student Nathan Weaver plays the cello.
Submitted
North Hills sixth-grade student Nathan Weaver plays the cello.

Glen Richey of McCandless has directed about 80 musicals at the North Hills School District over the past 30 years.

This year, he is poking fun at them.

North Hills High School's spring musical, “Dames at Sea,” is a parody of the glamorous and hopeful movie musicals of the 1930s, including shows like “42nd Street.”

“It makes fun of the unrealistic stories in which the girl arrives in New York City in the morning and is a Broadway star by evening. This show has a similar plot, but it's hokey on purpose,” Richey said. “It has the diva, the girl in the chorus whom everyone loves, the starlet from out of town, a grumpy director, and a young handsome lead. It's all there. The story is irrelevant. It's just a good opportunity for a lot of big song-and-dance numbers,” Richey said.

The production will runMarch 8-10 and 15-17 at 7:30 p.m. in the North Hills High School auditorium. Tickets are $10 and $5 for students and senior citizens.

“I love this show. Once I started reading the script, I couldn't put it down,” said senior Ryleigh Bruner, 17. “It's so funny. It's also really exciting to watch. There's lots of tap dancing and lots of props.”

With 13 years of competitive dance experience under her belt, Brunner clinched the role of Ruby, a talented young dancer who arrives in New York City on a bus from Utah with nothing but a pair of tap shoes in her suitcase and a determination to break into show business.

Ruby stumbles into the cast of the troubled show “Dames at Sea,” in which the broke and pessimistic producer is terrorized by Mona Kent, the aggressive, seductive and surprisingly shady leading lady. Ruby seems to be in luck, as she makes a friend in clever chorus girl, Joan, and instantly falls in love with Dick, a singing sailor with songwriting ambitions, who just happens to be from her hometown of Centerville, Utah. But things take a turn for the worse when Mona sets her sights — and her claws — on Dick, and the producer loses the theatre, which is promptly bulldozed out from under the cast and crew. Can Dick and his pal, Lucky, save the show by producing it on their battleship?

“The show is really funny,” said sophomore Ryan Martin, 15. “It's definitely going to be entertaining. It's going to be fun to perform, too.”

“He's a really funny character, but he's not the brightest guy. The directors have told me that I sound too intelligent for the part, so I have to dumb it down. It's been really fun,” Martin said.

The 90-minute show includes 45 minutes of dancing, according to Richey. It features a cast of 34, a pit orchestra of 13 and a behind-the-scenes crew of 33 students.

Jane Fusco, 16, plays Joan, the chorus girl who befriends Ruby.

“I've been performing in dance recitals since I was 3,” she said. “The biggest challenge of this show is tap dancing while singing. It's such a funny show. Not many people know of it. I can't wait to bring it to the audience.”

Laurie Rees is a Tribune-Review contributor.

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