Sewickley Academy senior to perform in Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade

| Wednesday, Nov. 21, 2012, 10:16 p.m.

Sewickley Academy senior Alexis Krey is receiving a gift for her birthday this year that she has dreamed about since she was a child.

Krey is scheduled to spend Thursday singing and dancing as part of the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade in New York City.

“We've been to the parade six times and watched it in the freezing cold, and I always wanted to be one of those Rockette girls who got to sing and dance. I thought it would be great to get to say “Hello” to everyone.”

Born on Thanksgiving Day in 1994, she will celebrate her 18th birthday, which falls on Saturday, a few days early at the parade. She is scheduled to perform between 11:30 a.m. and noon on the star outside Macy's. The parade will be televised on WPXI-TV (NBC) from 9 a.m. to noon.

The daughter of Cynthia and Cliff Krey of Ohio Township got the chance to appear in the parade by attending Stagedoor Manor performing arts camp in Loch Sheldrake, N.Y. She had been on the waiting list for two years to get into the camp.

Stagedoor has been sending its students to perform in the parade for three years. The camp draws singers, dancers and actors in musical theater and drama from all over the world. Alums include Natalie Portman, Jon Cryer, Bryce Howard and Robert Downey Jr.

Students audition for parts in productions, and those auditions also are used to choose who performs in the parade after students send in their resumes in September.

Some students will ride on a float, but Krey said she was scheduled to walk the parade route, which begins at Central Park at 9 a.m., before performing at the end of the parade.

“I'm just in awe that she wants to get up in front of everyone and do this. She works so hard in everything she does,” her mother said.

Krey left home Sunday and stayed with others in the group in a hotel near the dance studio where they trained not far from Times Square.

The group had three days to rehearse and learn the words to the songs and the dances. Krey said they weren't told what the songs, dances or costumes would be. They only were told that by the end of the three days, the words and dances would be “pounded into them.”

Krey started to love theater at young age when her parents took her to see local productions.

“She was 3 or 4 and was just mesmerized,” Cynthia Krey said.

Her daughter trained for about a year with the Pittsburgh Civic Light Opera and then with Pittsburgh Ballet Theatre, where she performed several times in “The Nutcracker” at the Benedum Center in Pittsburgh.

For almost two years, she has been training with the Pittsburgh Ballet House. She also takes voice lessons with local opera singer, Anna Singer.

At Sewickley Academy, Krey said she has been in every production she could be in since the first grade. Along with several other school activities, she also was a finalist in district chorus in Western Pennsylvania last year.

“They taught me so much. That's where I first started to love musical theater, and then when I went to Stagedoor, that sealed the deal. I knew it was what I wanted to do for the rest of my life.”

While at camp, Krey performed in “Phantom,” another version of “Phantom of the Opera.”

Krey was cast as the Phantom's mother, sang opera and performed in several ballet solos and with a male dancer.

“For me to go there and go though a professional audition and get a major supporting role, it showed me I can make it in the real world,” she said. She said musical theater is her calling.

“It incorporates all my loves,” Krey said.

She said she plans to major in musical theater when she attends college and would like to perform on Broadway.

Her immediate goal is to “not have this performance in New York be my last.”

Joanne Barron is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. She can be reached at 412-324-1406 or

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