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‘Reach 4 It!’ opens Nov. 1 at HRVHS

Students perform director Mark Steighner’s original work

Have you ever wondered what goes on behind the scenes of one of those “American Idol”-type reality singing shows? Now’s your chance to peek behind the curtain as the Hood River Valley High School performing arts department presents “Reach 4 It!”, a new musical.

Written and directed by HRVHS’ Mark Steighner, the musical is about the onstage performances and offstage drama at a rather distant cousin to the popular Idol, a show where the celebrities and sets are both a little faded and the contestants have reached the end of the line. Producers scheme, singers crash and burn, and there is always some doubt whether the show will even go on the air.

The production features nearly 60 student performers and, of course, a phalanx of off-stage costumers, techs and parent volunteers, including the onstage band.

“Every show we produce creates a little community,” Steighner said. “I love that so many people are willing to volunteer. Many of them no longer even have kids in our program.”

Originally, the plan was to produce “Shrek” this fall, but casting the show last spring proved to be difficult.

“We had a huge turnout for auditions, but not the right talent for Shrek,” Steighner said. “So, I thought the best thing would be to write something for the many students at hand.”

Steighner has written many full-length shows but says that the process is a lengthy one.

“However, this time I only had two months to write the script, lyrics, and music and to score everything,” he said.

Even working under the tight deadline, the show contains almost 50 musical numbers.

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“Reach 4 It!” is family-friendly and opens Nov. 1, running Nov 1-2, 8-9 and 15-16 at 7 p.m. and Nov. 2, 9, 10 and 16 at 1:30 p.m. Tickets are $8 for adults and $6 for students and children and are available at the door, Waucoma Bookstore and ShowTix4u.com.

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