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Watertown High students treated to preview performance of Case Middle School’s “Frozen Jr.”

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Students at Watertown High School were treated to a sneak preview Wednesday of an upcoming performance of a musical presented by the Case Middle School Music Department.

After classes, the high schoolers gathered in the auditorium to watch “Frozen Jr.,” a lively show based on the 2018 Broadway musical “Frozen.” The musical itself is a stage adaptation of a popular animated Disney film of the same name.

“Frozen Jr.” features all of the memorable songs from the 2013 animated film, with music and lyrics by Kristen Anderson-Lopez and Robert Lopez, plus five new songs written for the Broadway production. It also expands upon the emotional relationship and journey between Princesses Anna and Elsa.

When faced with danger, the two discover their hidden potential and the powerful bond of sisterhood.

The musical will be staged at 7 p.m. Friday and Saturday at the Watertown High School auditorium. Tickets are $6, available at the Case Middle School main office or at the door for both performances.

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‘Spam,’ a lot of it, on menu for WHS music students

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“Spamalot,” sort of a comedic “knight” club and a parody of a parody, will be staged by Watertown High School music department students for four shows beginning Thursday.

“Spamalot” is a parody of the 1975 film “Monty Python and the Holy Grail,” which is a parody of the legend of King Arthur and his quest for the grail. “Spamalot” also adds tongue-in-cheek parodies of Broadway productions. The title of the musical, which opened on Broadway in 2005, is derived from Knights of the Roundtable who sing, “I eat ham and jam and Spam a lot” and other repetitive references to the canned pork product. In turn, “spam” became a term for annoying junk e-mail.

The WHS show will be presented at 7 p.m. Thursday and Friday and at 1 p.m. and 7 p.m. on Saturday.

“When I first announced the show, we had two groups of people: ‘Spam-a-what’s?’ were the people who had no idea what the show was or what it was about,” said Rebecca A. Rose, music and vocal instructor at WHS, who directs the musical. “Then I had people who could recite, and did, entire monologues of dialogue from the movie. It’s been really cool to see everyone grow to love the show and bring it to life on stage.”

Four knights and the king in the production descended from the WHS stage before rehearsal on March 12 to discuss the musical and their characters. Jonah P. Stone, Jack P. Marra, Daniel J. Maurer, Brady M. Guldenpfennig and Evan D. Autote are all seniors.

“Although most of us weren’t super familiar with the show at first, once we heard that we were going to do it, we all watched it and got familiar with it,” Maurer said. “We came to love it.”

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After two-year absence, ‘The Little Mermaid’ revives WHS musicals

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WATERTOWN — As far as school musicals are concerned these days, things are going along swimmingly at Watertown High School for the music department’s production of “The Little Mermaid Jr.” to be staged for four shows, beginning tonight.

No WHS musical was staged the past two years due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

“In March of 2020 we were able to perform one dress rehearsal of ‘Mary Poppins’ before the entire world shut down,” recalled Rebecca A. Rose, director and WHS music teacher. “There are no words to describe how the cast and crew felt to do all that work to never get the chance to perform.”

A school year in the hybrid/remote model would create more challenges.

“It was difficult to work in extracurricular activities like a musical,” Mrs. Rose said. “This year, we were faced with the reality that we were almost rebuilding the program back from the ground. Students who were always in the show have graduated and students who are in the program now have not had the experience of live theater and musicals. We really had to do a lot of recruitment and promotion of the musical to get our students interested in performing live theater again.”

But the musical program, Mrs. Rose said, is lucky.

“There were a lot of students that were very excited when the show and auditions were announced,” she said. “We are running a cast of 35-36 students, and a crew of 20. Fifty-five students involved is a great number to start rebuilding our musical theater program here at Watertown High School.”

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