Letter: Basalt High shakes it up
A lot of “firsts” mark the Basalt High School musical production of “All Shook Up” this weekend, which takes place today and Saturday at 7 p.m., with a matinee at 2 p.m. on Saturday at Basalt Middle School auditorium.
It’s the first spring musical produced by new-to-the-valley Brittany von Stein, the choir director at Basalt High School and middle school, who just graduated with a music-education degree from The Ohio State University in 2015. With youth on her side, she brings a bundle of energy, a whole lot of passion and a fresh perspective to the spring musical and the school choir programs.
It’s the first time longtime local Marisa Post has directed and choreographed a student musical for the high school. (You may know her work as director of the Aspen Community Theatre’s recent production of “Beauty and the Beast.”) At a dress rehearsal the other night, she told me she’s enjoying working with the enthusiastic Basalt teens, noting the cast members are “like sponges” in soaking up her direction.
It’s the first time Basalt High School senior Miguel Fabela has ever participated in a school theater production, and he’s cast in the lead role as Elvis-inspired Chad, who rolls into an uptight town, stirring things up with his lip-curling, hip-shaking swagger. I’ve watched a couple dress rehearsals, and I am so impressed with this talented performer’s transformation into his character; his 1950s-style crooning is amazing. I am certain this is not the first and last time he’ll take on a musical theater role.
While this is the first high school theater production for half the enthusiastic 24-member cast, there are many names familiar to Basalt High School musicals who bring experience to their lead roles, including seniors Courtney Aitken and Megan Sherry, juniors Cheyenne Myers, Oriah Clarke, Ricky Perez, AJ Thompson, and sophomore Will Orben.
The musical comedy features 25 Elvis songs, some mixed-up love stories and two dozen cast members who have worked their tails off preparing for their shows. I hope you’ll join me in supporting musical theater in Basalt this weekend.
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The Pitkin County Democratic Party ran our three-day National Day of Service/MLK Day project as part of President Joe Biden’s Presidential Inaugural Committee’s activities.