March 4 and 5 were highly anticipated days for many Harrison students.
All of their hard work was finally rewarded as On The Town was performed for hundreds of people in Graff Auditorium.
Jaclyn Richardson was the director, with Anna Miller and Grace Donnoe as student directors.
Steve Cotten directed the pit band and Kate Walker was in charge of choreography.
On The Town is a Broadway musical and was made into a film in 1949, when it won awards.
The premise of the musical, which is set in the 1950s, is that three sailors have 24 hours to explore New York City.
One of the sailors, Gabey, falls in love with June’s Miss Turnstiles winner, whose picture he sees on the subway.
His friends Ozzie and Chip agree to help him find her, and along the way they fall in love too.
Peter Ropp played Ozzie in this year’s musical.
He is a familiar face for the musical, as he played Uncle Henry/Emerald City Guard in The Wizard of Oz last year and Gus Edmond in Gentlemen Prefer Blondes the year before.
Ropp says that the lead characters have been practicing for around five days a week since the beginning of the semester.
Practices lasted about three hours at first, but during production week they lasted around seven Jill Reffeitt was a chorus member.
“I haven't had to go every single day as a chorus member only, but other people, like the leads and bigger parts, have needed to be there almost every single day for about two months,” Reffeitt said. “It's a pretty big commitment time-wise.”
Pit band has been practicing since the beginning of the semester too, and members would meet twice a week for rehearsals.
In order to be in pit band, one has to be invited.
Emma Snyder was one of three trumpets in the pit, and this is her first year participating.
She had such a great time that she is already excited for next year’s musical.
“My favorite memory from the musical is the first time the cast and the band ran through the musical together,” Snyder said. “Seeing everyone's hard work pay off as a whole and seeing the musical really start to come together was a really cool thing.”
Tech crew has been busy as well.
Sara Fultz is in charge of the makeup and costumes.
She also helped with Gentlemen Prefer Blondes, Game Show, The Wizard of Oz, and Annie Play Will Do.
“When we started looking for costumes, we asked Mrs. Richardson what she needed us to find, what she was buying, and what costumes she thought needed help,” Fultz said.
“A few weeks prior to the production the costume department went to every cast and chorus member and made sure their costumes were completely finished. We also made sure our makeup was stocked up.”
Fultz also mentioned that while the week before the musical’s opening was very stressful, it was still an enjoyable and fun experience.
Everyone interviewed had a great time, despite the stress and large time commitment.
“My favorite memories from musical are mostly just inside jokes with the friends that I've made,” Reffeitt said. “Everyone on the cast ends up being like a family. That's definitely what I'll remember when I look back on it.” Ropp agrees.
“This musical is a great example of how music programs bring people together and encourage community in a student body,” Ropp said. “We had friendships form and strengthen between all grade
levels and the love is real. I encourage anyone even remotely interested in musical to try it. It can change your life, as it has certainly changed mine.”
“Basically, musical is a big, weird, dysfunctional family, and I wouldn't change it for the world,” said Reffeitt.