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BHS presents segments of five classics on stage

Front row seated, from left: Kara Lawson, Nicole Ladd, Zach Schroeder, Matthew Yettaw, and Lydia Danikolas. Back row standing, from left: Megan Dallape, Cameron Tahaney, Phil Reed, Hanna Nesterowich, and Matthew Collazo. BHS students with leading roles in “Spotlight on Broadway III.” Photo by Susan Bromley. (click for larger version)
November 03, 2010 - Brandon Twp.- Art imitates life in the upcoming Brandon High School play, "Spotlight on Broadway III," set to take the stage at 7 p.m. on Nov. 11, 12, and 13 at the BHS Performing Arts Center, 1025 S. Ortonville Road.

The production is to be Director Cathy Ciesielski's last hoorah, as she retires next June after 40 years as a teacher at BHS, 30 of those years spent directing the fall play.

Ten years ago, Ciesielski directed the first "Spotlight on Broadway," a compilation of scenes from some of her favorite Broadway plays. Five years later she directed the sequel. With the passing of another five years and the arrival of the end of her career, she believes it's appropriate to end with another "Spotlight."

This time, the play will feature 22 BHS students performing scenes from "Cheaper by the Dozen," and "Auntie Mame," and complete condensions of "The King and I," "It's a Wonderful Life," and "Mary Poppins." Each play is done in 20-minute segments.

"Audiences will enjoy humor, the heartwarming feeling that comes from most of the plays, tunes, and amazing talent," said Ciesielski.

Music includes "Whistle a Happy Tune" from "The King and I," "Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious" from "Mary Poppins," and "Auld Lang Syne" from "It's a Wonderful Life."

"Spotlight on Broadway III" opens with Pop Matthews (played by BHS senior Matt Yettaw) and the eight stars he fictionally directed in the original "Spotlight," reuniting for his final production (in imitation of Ciesielski's real-life retirement).

"I like the variety," said Yettaw, who besides Pop Matthews, also has the roles of the King in "The King and I," Mr. Banks in "Mary Poppins" and Mr. Babcock in "Auntie Mame." "These roles give me a chance to display many different emotions... The audience will get a lot of different performances and fun snapshots of each one."

Megan Dallape, also a BHS senior, plays Anna in "The King and I," the mother in "Cheaper by the Dozen," Vera in "Auntie Mame," and Katie Nana in "Mary Poppins."

"It's so much fun to play people who aren't me," said Dallape. "It's fun doing a British accent. I think (audiences) will like all the different excerpts and some are very well-known."

Ciesielski notes it is more of a challenge for the actors who have four or five roles, but she called the cast "amazing" and they are what she will miss as the curtain falls on her final production.

Tickets for "Spotlight on Broadway III' are $5.

They may be purchased at the door each night of the show, beginning at 6:30 p.m. For more information, call 248-627-1820.

Susan covers Brandon Township and Ortonville
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