OSWEGO – This year’s Harborfest Children’s Musical, Disney’s 101 Dalmatians Kids, continues a tradition of family entertainment that began with the creation of the festival in 1987.
The original concept as visualized by the founder of Harborfest the late Rosemary Nesbitt included historical re-enactments, theatrical presentations and tales to entertain children.
Family entertainment continued to be a large part of the celebration with the designation of Franklin Square as the Children’s Park and the creation of the Harborfest Children’s Parade, along with dozens of performances by nationally known children’s entertainers.
For the last several years the Harborfest Children’s Musical has become a popular feature in the festival’s schedule.
Under the sure direction of retired Oswego City School District music teachers Roxanna Farden and Roberta Palange along with family and friends and parents past Harborfest Children’s Musicals have presented productions on a diverse array of subjects, ranging from classic fairy tales, to World War II swing music.
Upon the retirement of Farden and Palange, Oswego Children’s Theater has assumed production of the Harborfest Children’s Musical, with former students of the original directors, Lyndsie and Kenneth Jones taking over the stage and music leadership roles.
The Jones have many years of experience directing children’s productions with several organizations including Oswego Children’s Theater, Oswego Players, Oswego Opera Theater, Whitney Point Schools, Westwood, Massachusetts Schools and others.
Mr. Jones is the vocal music teacher at Whitney Point High School and Mrs. Jones is a NYS certified theater educator.
This Year’s production, “Disney’s 101 Dalmatian Kids” features a cast of about 60 young people ranging in age from 1 to 16 years that come from all over the area including Oswego, Fulton, Hanibal, Mexico, New Haven, Martville, West Monroe, Camden and Johnson City.
The show is based on the 1956 children’s novel by Dodie Smith.
The story was adapted for the stage by Marcy Heisler, with music by Brian Smith, Dan Root, Martin Lee Fuller, Mel Leven, Randy Rogel and Richard Gibbs; lyrics by Marcy Heisler, Brian Smith, Dan Root, Martin Lee Fuller, Mel Leven, Randy Rogel and Richard Gibbs.
The music for the show was adapted and arranged by Bryan Louiselle.
The show is produced by special arrangement with Music Theater International.
The show will presented several times during the festival weekend on the Children’s Stage at West Park.
Harborfest is one of the few admission-free music festivals in the country.
To learn more about the Children’s Musical, about Harborfest itself, or to contribute, contact the Harborfest offices at 41 Lake St., Oswego, NY 13126 or visit www.oswegoharborfest.com.