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September 19, 2018

Another Year, Another World Premiere Musical Presented by Fitzhugh Park Students


OSWEGO, NY – Las Vegas came to life on the stage of the Oswego High School Robinson-Faust Theatre for the Performing Arts as once again Fitzhugh Park Elementary students debuted a world premiere musical.

Ezra Clemons swings as Blackjack Dice while the Showgals entertain the audience, featuring Alyssa Searor, Jade Comstock, Cassidy Proud, Katie Swinson, Jayden Wyman, and Gracelyn O'Connor.

Ezra Clemons swings as Blackjack Dice while the Showgals entertain the audience, featuring Alyssa Searor, Jade Comstock, Cassidy Proud, Katie Swinson, Jayden Wyman, and Gracelyn O’Connor.

Each year music teacher Garrett Heater writes a new musical especially for his students.

The premiere this year was “Backjack Dice and the Diamond Heist.”

A Las Vegas comedian Blackjack Dice becomes an undercover spy to stem the theft of a valuable diamond by the villain Helmut Schweihund and his dastardly “Ze Piggies.”

Heater not only wrote the script for the world premiere, but also 17 original songs with a live pit orchestra.

The nearly two-hour show received was enthusiastically received by the audience.

Ezra Clemons stars as Blackjack Dice with Cassidy Proud as Veronica Heart and Alyssa Mclymond as Carmella Diamond.

Ezra Clemons stars as Blackjack Dice with Cassidy Proud as Veronica Heart and Alyssa Mclymond as Carmella Diamond.

Heater said, “I can tell you that as an educator the feelings of nervousness, excitement and sheer exhilaration do not dissipate over the years. It is my goal that each student takes away from these musical productions having done something so momentous that they will carry the achievement with them for the rest of their lives.”

The students learned their lines and presented them in effective ways bringing right on cue laughs from the audience.

The lead roles included Ezra Clemons (Blackjack Dice), Connor Mulcahey (Helmut Schweinhund), Adelaide Dice (Alexis Johnson), Sal Spade (David Harvey), Veronica Heart (Cassidy Proud), Carmella Diamond (Alyssa Mclymond), Lucinda Trump (Sabrina Swank), Anka (Hannah Holland), Dieter Dietz (Isayah Hayes) and Texas Hold ‘m (Mitchell Hudson).

Ezra Clemons croons as Blackjack Dice with Hannah Holland as Anka, Cassidy Proud as Veronica Heart, and Alyssa Mclymond as Carmella Diamond in the production number "Life is Grand With You" with Ciara LAcey, Alyssa Searor, Gracelyn O'Connor and Jayden Wyman as the Showgals.

Ezra Clemons croons as Blackjack Dice with Hannah Holland as Anka, Cassidy Proud as Veronica Heart, and Alyssa Mclymond as Carmella Diamond in the production number “Life is Grand With You” with Ciara LAcey, Alyssa Searor, Gracelyn O’Connor and Jayden Wyman as the Showgals.

The Crystal Palace Casino Showgirls danced their way through the performance and included Jozyln Fiorito, Kellie Rowley, Alyssa Searor, Jennifer Pittman, Kirstin Young, Megan Enos, Gracelynn O’Connor, McKenzie Westberry, Kaylyne Westberry, Jade Comstock, Monet Barnes, Jaden Wyman, Ciara Lacey, Jasmine Dygert, Maiya Gunther and Katie Swinson.

Schweinhund’s “Ze Piggies” included Dylan Redhead, Avery Monahan, Hunter Smith, Haillee-May Swank, Justin Hudson, Keyon Johnston, Riley Putnam, Azcrya Premo, Kyle Rice, Alfonso Alonso, Taylor Kells, Gracie Hoffman, Gabriella Valentin, Kaitlyn Perrone, Aaron Hibbert and Haillie LaSalle.

Students performed 17 musical number with the assistance of the Crystal Palace Casino Swingtet that included high school students with Cassie Hondro (flute), Amanda Cali (clarinet), Ryan Smith (violin), Nick Sheary (alto sax), Tyme Baez (trumpet), Jordan Crapser and Andrew Hook (percussion), Justin Abbott (bass trombone), Ana Alcasid (flute), Brandon Cheeley (string bass), Mike Farden (alto sax), Ben McCrobie (tenox sax), Emily King (trumpet), Paul Oleyourryk (baritone sax), Hannah Caine (trombone) and Heater on piano.

The big finale featured the entire cast singing and dancing, including Hannah Holland as Anka, Connor Mulcahey as notorious evil genius Helmut Schweinhund, and Lexi Johnson as Blackjack's mother Adelaide Dice.

The big finale featured the entire cast singing and dancing, including Hannah Holland as Anka, Connor Mulcahey as notorious evil genius Helmut Schweinhund, and Lexi Johnson as Blackjack’s mother Adelaide Dice.

Behind the scenes students were also involved as the stage crew and included  Nicole Anthony, Jack Anzalone, Jacob Ball, Eli Campbell, Eric Carson, Matthew Cuyler, Hailey Gill, Cassidy Goodwin, Tyler Griffin, Chelsea Gunther, Ben Holbrooke, Michael Riley, Brian Solazzo, Alexis Vivlemore, Kaylyne Westberry, Shelby Davis, Kaitlyn Birmingham.

They were also assisted by Oswego High School crew members.

There were so many other people working behind the scenes to make this a success, but once again the Fitzhugh Park Elementary students received a wonderful opportunity and responded.

Heater noted, “This isn’t just a school musical; it’s the formation of a student’s adult identity.”

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