Thomas Jefferson fall play full of laughs with secret agents
Everything was “top secret” at Thomas Jefferson High School, as students whispered in each other's ears and shied away from revealing the details behind that “big, flashy gadget.”
“Just like spies,” high school senior Carmen LoPresti, 18, said as he muttered a deep, almost devious sounding laugh.
Even off of the stage as they prepared for this year's fall play, “Get Smart,” cast members stayed in character, leaving those seated in the high school auditorium in stitches as they cracked jokes. Yet, they kept nearly everything under wraps as to how they would solve the crimes — through all of the twists and turns, kidnappings and innovations — on stage.
Thomas Jefferson High School theater will present “Get Smart” at 7:30 p.m. today, Thursday, and Saturday in the school auditorium, 310 Old Clairton Road, Jefferson Hills.
The “throwback” show is a remake of the 2008 film staring Steve Carrell and Anne Hathaway and the 1960s television series staring Don Adams and Barbara Feldon.
The comedy, “Get Smart,” focuses on Maxwell Smart, a clumsy, yet somehow always sucessful secret agent and his partner “Agent 99,” who work for CONTROL, a secret U.S. counter intelligence agency and fight various crimes using secret gadgets.
“It's funny. It's got a goofy sense of humor,” said director and Thomas Jefferson High School English and Theater teacher Julie Tipton. “It's just a classic story of good versus evil.”
With slapstick humor, audience interactions, technical and theatrical surprises and a shocking ending, this upbeat show is certain to be a hit with all ages, the director and cast members alike agreed.
“The show is constantly moving and it's easy to follow,” LoPresti said.
This show has always been a favorite of Tipton's, after all, it has her silly, quirky sense of humor, she said.
Yet, many of the cast members said they knew little or nothing of “Get Smart,” except maybe from the 2008 remake or looking over the shoulder of their older siblings and parents as they watched the original show on television.
The funky gadgets and humorous lines in the show, though, were a hit with the high school cast.
“I like everything about it,” said junior Alyssa Gephart, 17, who plays Miss Finch. “It's a cool show.”
And this year, with 90 percent of Thomas Jefferson's male theater participants graduating, it was one of the last times in a few years that a show like this could be done, cast members said.
After performing adaptations of high school and younger shows for the last three years with “Romeo and Juliet: Together and Alive at Last,” “Humbug High” and “Canterbury Tales,” this was a show cast members said they were ready for and they're ready to portray adults and extend their acting talents, cast members agreed.
“I was waiting for a show like this,” LoPresti said.
The fast paced show has something for everyone.
“The show takes from everything from history, to local ties to action to pyrotechnics to science to comedy. There's a reference to sports in there, as well as ingenuity,” said senior Shoueb Mamoor, 18, who plays Professor Dante.
But listen closely, because much of the humor is in the words.
“You could miss it. It could go totally over your head,” said senior Jamie Pasquinelli, 17, who plays Agent 99.
While the show has those technical surprises, cool set pieces and humorous lines, cast members agree that its their relationship with on another that will make the show shine.
“We're family,” Gephart said. “We spend every day with each other. I think it shows off and on the stage.”
Rehearing together each day after school since late September — except for when Mother Nature or building conflicts got in the way — has united this cast.
“We definitely all have fun,” LoPresti said.
“We feed off of each other,” Mamoor said.
Stephanie Hacke is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. She can be reached at 412-388-5818 or email@example.com.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Pleasant Hills officials adopt farm animal ban
- KaBOOM! Whitehall playground built in six hours
- Baldwin to test sanitary sewer system
- Magistrate to address truancy at West Jefferson schools
- West Jefferson Hills school board members stripped of leadership posts
- South Hills-area districts makes security changes to bag requirements
- Plan would limit open containers during Baldwin-Whitehall district events
- Third party might review Brentwood police work
- Pleasant Hills students and teachers participate in ALS Ice Bucket Challenge