School House Rock Live!
by Christian Youth Theater

Michael Sanchez in Conjunction Junction Conjunction Junction, what’s your function? The function of conjunctions is to link together words, like “school” and “house” and “rock.” For decades, the most entertaining way to learn about how a bill becomes law and how Sir Isaac Newton discovered gravity was to go to school via Saturday morning cartoons in the unique classroom of School House Rock. And now you can add “live” to those words, as the famous cartoons have been transformed into a musical, which Christian Youth Theater is currently putting on at the big new theatre at Mission Hills High School in San Marcos.

Amy Morley plays Ms. Miser, a schoolteacher who is about to get her lesson plan inspired by the muses of History (Michael Sanchez), Science (Brett Dunn), Math (Jon White), and English (Christina Kilpatrick). With a great deal of help from their entourage, they show her how to put a fun, new spin on her lectures as one School House Rock episode after another comes to life on the stage. Some of the many highlights:

* Orion Crocker and his big scrolled-up Bill (looking very reminiscent of the famous animated one) hopes and prays that he will become more than a bill and be passed into law.

* If you’re ever looking for someone to sing tongue twisters, you may want to consider Heather Banks who sings the awkward Rufus Xavier Sarsaparilla with style and somehow sans slipups.

* An out-of-this-world astronomy lesson complete with black lighting and Interplanet Janet (Sophie Meyer).

* Great solos come from a variety of young actresses including Jenna Wille leading the lesson on women suffrage, Sarah Slaven introducing us to the preamble of the Constitution, Jackie Foster alerting us to the power of interjections, and Jillian Dudley jumping in at the last minute to sing Do The Circulation when the regular cast member fell ill.

* A very young Elvis in the form of the charismatic Reed Lievers, leaving swooning girls as the falling victims of gravity.

Giovanna Zavala* Michael Sanchez, who is also the keyboardist for the show, accompanies himself while exploring the magic of the number three with some help from the cast, with Michael later donning the engineer cap for the huge Conjunction Junction number with the ensemble and some good choreography (Ashley Springett), making this most popular episode the biggest one of the night.

* And then there’s probably the biggest surprise hit of the night, Unpack Your Adjectives with the impossibly charming, poised, talented, and adorable eight-year-old Giovanna Zavala leading a group of intrepid adjective backpackers through the wilderness of words.

Director Joey Minnich and his cast, crew, and terrific orchestra take us on this fun, and for most of us nostalgic, study group made even more entertaining now that School House Rock is finally alive!

Performed February 23 - March 3, 2007.

Rob Hopper
National Youth Theatre

~ Cast ~

Brett Dunn, Michael Sanchez, Christina Kilpatrick, and Amy MorleyMs. Miser: Amy Morley
History: Michael Sanchez
Science: Brett Dunn
Math: Jon White
English: Christina Kilpatrick
Verb: Toffer Williams
Noun: Erin McGeeney
Three: Michael Sanchez
Lolly Lolly Lolly: Taylor Fox, Meg Lievers, Brittney Meredith
Adjectives: Giovanna Zavala
Bill: Orion Crocker, Jeremiah Gillespie
Preamble: Sarah Slaven
Circulation: Kaylee Ramsey
Rufus Xavier Saspariella: Heather Banks
Gravity: Reed Lievers
Zero: Brandon Kirshner
Conjunction Junction: Michael Sanchez
Great American Melting Pot: Lindsay Peck, Norah Cunningham, Nikky Mendivil
Interplanet Janet: Sophie Meyer
Janet: Amber Ki
Sufferin' Till Sufferage: Jenna Wille
Interjections: Jackie Foster

Brittany Zapata
Isabelle Zapata
Amanda Seckendorf
Rebecca Twombly
Jackie Foster
Jenna Wille
Christina Kilpatrick
Nicolette Burton
Amber Ki
Nikky Mendivil
Sarah Slaven
Kaylee Ramsey
Heather Banks
Melissa Gillespie
Sophie Meyer

Arnold Brynna
Natalia Baini
Heather Banks
Nicolette Burton
Orion Crocker
Norah Cunningham
Patrick Doss
Jillian Dudley
Chase Fischer
Avery Foncerrada
Jackie Foster
Taylor Fox
Jeremiah Gillespie
Melissa Gillespie
Luke Harrison
Clara Kelly
Amber Ki
Brandon Kirshner
Jessie Krier
Anna Lettang
Meg Lievers
Reed Lievers
AnnMarie McDaniel
Erin McGeeney
Nikky Mendivil
Brittany Meredith
Sophie Meyer
Courtney Peck
Lindsay Peck
Shelby Proseus
Kaylee Ramsey
Amanda Seckendorf
Mary Slaven
Matt Slaven
Sarah Slaven
Alyssa Twombley
Rebecca Twombly
Cali White
Jon White
Jenna Wille
Toffer Williams
Rachel Youngberg
Alex Zapata
Brittany Zapata
Isabelle Zapata
Giovanna Zavala

Director: Joey Minnich
Musical Director: Nancy Casey
Choreographer: Ashley Springett
Assistant Director: David Hott
Lighting Design: Jeremy Sewell
Sound Design: Jim Zapata and Eric Peterson
Costumers: Teresa Peterson and Carla Wille


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