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.
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.
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).
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.
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.”