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Curtain rising this week on several high school musicals

The South Carroll High School Stagelighters rehearse their production of "Jekyll and Hyde," which opens on Friday, April 13, at the school.
The South Carroll High School Stagelighters rehearse their production of "Jekyll and Hyde," which opens on Friday, April 13, at the school. (Courtesy photo / South Carroll High School Stagelighters)

Several Carroll County high schools are beginning productions of their school musicals this week. With the shows ranging from a doctor whose mind has split in two to a Disney princess to an adaptation featuring beloved characters of Dr. Seuss, there is something for everyone.

‘Jekyll and Hyde’

The South Carroll High School Stagelighters will be presenting "Jekyll and Hyde," a musical retelling of the Robert Louis Stevenson classic written by Leslie Bricusse and Frank Wildhorn, beginning on Friday, April 13.

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It's the final installment of their season of "Monsters, Mayhem and the Macabre," according to a news release from the Stagelighters, which goes on to say that "Jekyll and Hyde" follows the journey of one man who becomes two, both good and evil; and the journey of two women, one with all the money in the world, the other practically sleeping in the streets, who share a connection.

Overcome with grief due to the recent death of his father, Dr. Henry Jekyll creates a formula to separate the good from evil in mankind; however, when the board of governors refuses to support his endeavors by giving him a test subject, Jekyll has no choice but to test the formula on himself, the release continues. When the formula backfires, Jekyll splits his mind in two, creating the alternate personality Edward Hyde.

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In the battle to reclaim his mind, two women — one his supportive, upper-class fiance Emma Carew, and the other a wary, low-class dancer Lucy Harris — find themselves falling in love with Jekyll; unaware of the dark personality he is hiding. With a gothic pop-rock score, and keep-you-on-the-edge-of-your-seats twists and turns, Jekyll and Hyde is a show designed to captivate all audiences.

"The music is absolutely beautiful, and Emma is such an amazing lady. I am so excited to be part of this," South Carroll senior Elizabeth Larsen, in a prepared statement.

Added junior Jack Merson: "I am so excited to get the chance to play [Henry] Jekyll, he has always been a dream role of mine. It is so wonderful to be surrounded by such a talented cast and crew… I can't wait to see what we create!"

Dates for the show will be Fridays, April 13 and April 20, at 7 p.m. and Saturdays, April 14 and April 21, at 2 and 7 p.m. Tickets are $10 or $8 with a student ID. Reserve tickets are available at SCSL.BookTix.com. Due to the graphic content, they are placing a PG-13 rating on the show.

"I think it's going to be a great show," senior Natasha Acuña, stage manager, said. "I'm glad that I get to end my senior year with Jekyll and Hyde."

Several members of the Manchester Valley High School production of "Beauty and the Beast" are shown. The musical opens on Friday, April 13 at the Manchester school.
Several members of the Manchester Valley High School production of "Beauty and the Beast" are shown. The musical opens on Friday, April 13 at the Manchester school. (Courtesy Manchester Valley High School Maverick Theater)

‘Disney’s Beauty and the Beast’

Manchester Valley High School's Maverick Theater invites everyone in the community to "be our guest" for the school's production of "Disney's Beauty and the Beast" beginning Friday, April 13.

Based on the Academy-Award winning animated feature, the stage version includes all of the memorable songs and characters from the animated film plus a few new songs written especially for the Broadway musical, according to a Maverick Theater news release.

It takes place in France and begins when a prince is transformed into a hideous beast by an enchantress as punishment for his cruel and selfish ways. When Maurice, the town's eccentric inventor, becomes lost in the woods, he seeks shelter in an old castle, only to find its master to be a horrible beast that takes him captive.

The inventor's daughter, an adventurous young woman named Belle, trades herself for her father's freedom when she finds him in the castle. She soon discovers enchanted objects that serve the beast, and they try to make her new life easier. In order to become human again the Beast must earn Belle's love before it's too late.

This is Maverick Theater's first Disney musical and, according to the release, the cast and crew have been swept up in the magic of a fully staged musical with singing, dancing and dazzling costumes and scenery. A cast and crew of nearly 100 students have worked together to bring this fairytale to life.

The cast includes Cameron Consuegra as Belle, along with Bryant Gutknecht as Beast, Mitchell Clauser as Gaston, Nick Ruszala as Lefou, Evan Tinsman as Maurice, Brian Smith as Cogsworth, Jacob Schoenberger as Lumiere, Brittney Flinn as Mrs. Potts, Hunter Leese as Chip, Samantha Rea as Babette, Alexandra Overby as Madam de la Grande Bouche and Billy Davis as Monsieur D'Arque. The production of "Beauty and the Beast" is directed by the creative team of Bobbi Vinson, Lauren Warner and Samantha Azat and Kim Gossert.

"Beauty and the Beast" will be presented at 7 p.m. April 13, 14, 20 and 21, and 2 p.m. April 21 at Manchester Valley High School in Manchester. Tickets are $10 in advance and $12 at the door. Tickets and seats can be reserved at manval.booktix.com.

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The Francis Scott Key High School drama department is presenting "Seussical the Musical," based on the works of Dr. Seuss. Performances are scheduled for April 13, 14, 20 and 21.
The Francis Scott Key High School drama department is presenting "Seussical the Musical," based on the works of Dr. Seuss. Performances are scheduled for April 13, 14, 20 and 21. (Courtesy photo / Jordan River Michaels Photography)

‘Seussical the Musical’

Francis Scott Key High School's Drama Department presents "Seussical the Musical!" on April 13, 14, 20 and 21 at 7 p.m., as well as matinees on April 14 and 21 at 1 p.m.

"Oh the thinks you can think" as your favorite characters bring the stories of Dr. Seuss off the pages and onto the stage! Horton the Elephant is the guide on the journey from the Jungle of Nool to the Circus McGurkus to the World of the Whos, as a little boy with a big imagination proves that a person is a person no matter how small.

The production is under the direction of Roberta Gore, an FSK teacher, and assisted by Amberly Mayle, a senior at the school, who previously said she was inspired by the cast.

For those looking for a night out this week, a Carroll church is hosting one of the more famous musicals in history and Carroll Community College is opening a new art exhibition. Next week, look for McDaniel College Theatre’s take on a Euripides classic.

"Everyone seems to fit their character perfectly and connect with their cast mates extremely well," she said.

Added Gore: "It is going to be a really terrific, exciting, beautiful show."

Tickets for the musical are $7 for students and senior citizens and $10 for adults, and can be purchased at the door or ahead of time by visiting the FSK Choral and Drama Boosters website at www.fskchoraldramaboosters.com.

There will also be a Green Eggs and Ham Party where fans have a chance to eat with and talk to the cast members on both April 14 and 21 at 3:30 p.m. Ticket prices are $10 for kindergarten through fifth-grade students, who will receive souvenirs, and $2 for accompanying family members.

Other high school musicals

Century High School's production of "Seussical the Musical" continues this week, with performances on April 13 at 7 p.m. and April 14 at 2 and 7 p.m. Also, Winters Mill High School is putting on "How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying" on April 12 and April 13 at 7 p.m. and April 14 at 2 and 7 p.m. Finally, Westminster High School will have "Catch Me If You Can" on April 26 and 27 at 7 p.m., and April 28 at 2 and 7 p.m.



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