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‘Carousel’ starts next week at HRVHS

“Carousel” starts turning Nov. 7 at Hood River Valley High School.

Tickets for the HRVHS production of Rodgers and Hammerstein’s “Carousel” are now on sale at Waucoma Bookstore.

The production runs Nov. 7, 8, 13, 14, 15, 21, and 22 at 7 p.m., with matinees on Nov. 8, 15, and 22 at 1:30 p.m. Ticket prices are $7 for adults and $5 for students, seniors, and children.

Director Mark Steighner and a cast of 60 students have been rehearsing Rodgers and Hammerstein’s masterpiece since late August. Many of the major roles have been double cast and will alternate performances. The cast includes Jeff Kline as Billy Bigelow, Daniel Armerding as Enoch Snow, May Winner and Kelsey Brauer sharing the role of Carrie Pipperdge, Laura Schaefer and Cori Nuss sharing the role of Nettie, and Luke Webb and Paul Salom splitting the role of Jigger. The role of Julie Jordan is shared by Sonja Decker and Hannah Mason.

Steighner notes that audiences only familiar with the movie version of “Carousel” will find the stage version to be a much more lively and interesting show. “The writers disliked the film. They thought the casting was all wrong,” Steighner said, and added that the primary role of Julie, Carrie, and Billy are most properly played by young adults.

Several features will make the HRVHS production unique. The opening sequence has been shot on film and will introduce the characters and setting in a “larger than life” way. Additionally, choreographer Susan Sorensen has returned to the original dances of Agnes de Mille, which are rarely used in contemporary productions.

“Carousel” is a fund-raiser for the music department’s tour to England and Wales in March of 2004. Over 90 students and parents will participate this year, making it the largest and most elaborate tour the music department has attempted. Steighner hopes that local audiences will support “Carousel” with the same enthusiasm they greeted “Les Miserables” last year.

“We all loved ‘Les Mis,’ Steighner said, “but ‘Carousel’ is a better show in many ways.”

Other upcoming fund-raisers include a pizza making and delivery sale, yard clean-up, several concerts, a celebrity auction, and many others. Anyone who would like to donate should contact Steighner at the high school, or visit the music department Web site at http://w3.gorge.net/mdstg

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