A new wave of school and youth plays and concerts will sing and dance for the spring semester.
In March alone, the choices include “Big Fish” at Socastee High School, opening March 9 for next weekend; “Grease” as the word for the Starstruck Players, for two weekends starting March 10 at the Brunswick Little Theatre in Southport, N.C.; “Anything Goes” March 29-April 2 at Carolina Forest High School; and “South Pacific” making a splash, March 30-April 2 at St. James High School in the Burgess community.
Seeing local youth on stage brings affordable family entertainment, and the folks taking a bow might be your neighbor, or a rising star bound for Broadway or Carnegie Hall.
Farrah Beaudry, Socastee High School’s choral director, said “Big Fish” made for a big catch on stage.
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“This year, we added a musical theater production class,” Beaudry said. “The class did a lot of research on a lot of shows. We had it narrowed down to the following five musicals: ‘Big’ (based on the Tom Hanks movie), ‘The Wizard of Oz,’ ‘Aida,’ ‘Cinderella,’ and ‘School of Rock.’
“And then we found ‘Big Fish.’ We watched the show, did some research, and fell in love with the story. Recognizing that the story teaches us that every life can make a difference, we knew it was a story that needed to be told.”
Becky Bannon, an assistant director for arts at Carolina Forest High School, said the original plan for its spring musical was “The King and I,” which she called “a huge show.”
“We planned to use about 50 children from our feeder elementary schools,” Bannon said. “However, when our director and department head, Wayne Canady, had to extend his family emergency medical leave, and it was already January, we thought it would be best to wait and do ‘The King and I when he returns.”
“Anything Goes,” the substitute, “seemed to be the perfect choice,” Bannon said, “because both Kraig McBroom, our music director, and Albert Conrad, our new theater teacher, already had lots of experience with the show.
“Also, we hadn’t done a comedy since 2011 – “The Drowsy Chaperone” – and in educational theater, students should have the opportunity to explore all genres of shows.”
Angela Howard, drama teacher at St. James High School, confirmed the value in sailing with a classic.
“Every few years,” she said, “I like to do a traditional older Broadway show so the students experience a variety of musical theater styles. ‘South Pacific’ is a show loved by so many, and it’s very different from our usual style of upbeat high energy dance. However, you will see quite a display of talent, with beautiful songs, entertaining dances and a wonderful story.”
Be on the lookout, too, for other student productions across the Grand Strand that might be scheduled this season, including active groups at Myrtle Beach and North Myrtle Beach high schools, and at Coastal Carolina University.
▪ Brunswick County Schools, at Brunswick Community College’s Odell Williamson Auditorium, off U.S. 17 in Supply, N.C., each for free with donations of nonperishable foods collected for needy: “Arts Alive” with performers from across the district, 7 p.m. March 9-10; high school one-act play festival, 6 p.m. March 21; All-County Middle and High School Honors Band, 6:30 p.m. April 25; and oratory scholarship competition, 6:30 p.m. May 4 (free; no donations required). 910-253-2900 or www.bcswan.net.
▪ “Big Fish: A New Broadway Musical,” 7 p.m. March 9-10, and 3 and 7 p.m. March 11-12, at Socastee High School, 4900 Socastee Blvd. (S.C. 707), near Dick Pond Road. $12 general, $18 reserved. 843-293-2513, 843-293-9041 or www.socasteeperformingarts.com.
▪ “Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat,” 7 p.m. March 23-25, and 2 p.m. March 25, at Myrtle Beach High School, 3302 Robert M. Grissom Parkway. $10 advance, $12 at door, and $5 students. 843-448-7149 or mbh.horrycountyschools.net/pages.
▪ At Carolina Forest High School, 700 Gardner Lacy Road, northeast off U.S. 501 – “Anything Goes,” 7:30 p.m. March 29-31, 3 and 7:30 p.m. April 1, and 3 p.m. April 2, for $20; and Show Choir’s “ShowStoppers” 7 p.m. May 12-13 and 3 p.m. May 14, for $7. 843-236-7997 or www.cfhsperformingarts.com.
▪ Spring musicals – 6:30 p.m. March 30 at Waccamaw Elementary School, 1364 Waverly Road, Pawleys Island (843-237-4233 or www.wes.gcsd.k12.sc.us); and 6 p.m. April 3 at Andrews Elementary School, 13072 County Line Road, Andrews (843-264-3419 or www.aes.gcsd.k12.sc.us).
▪ Rodgers & Hammerstein’s “South Pacific,” 7 p.m. March 30-31, 2 and 7 p.m. April 1, and 2 p.m. April 2, at St. James High School, 10800 S.C. 707, at Salem Road, in Burgess community. $15 adults, $12 seniors, and $8 students. 843-650-5600 or www.sjhsdrama.com.
▪ At Waccamaw High School, 2412 Kings River Road, Pawleys Island (843-237-9899 or www.whs.gcsd.k12.sc.us): Spring band concert for Waccamaw Middle and High schools, 6 p.m. April 27; and spring performance by Empressions Dance Studio of Pawleys Island, 3-6 p.m. May 24-25.
▪ At Conway High School, 2301 Church St. (U.S. 501), north of U.S. 378: “Pop Show and All That Jazz,” 6:30 p.m. May 2; “Vocal Showcase,” 6:30 p.m. May 19; and “Gospel Choir Showcase,” 4:30 p.m. May 21. 843-488-0662 or ch.horrycountyschools.net/pages/Conway_High_School.
YOUTH ARTS GROUPS
▪ Starstruck Players youth group in “Grease,” 7:30 p.m. March 10-11 and 17-18, and 3 p.m. March 12 and 19, at Brunswick Little Theatre, 8068 River Road S.E., Southport, N.C. $20, or $12 students, including those with college ID. 910-447-2586 or brunswicklittletheatre.com.
▪ “The Lion King Jr.,” by Theatre of the Republic’s Coastal Youth Theatre Arts School, for ages 6-18, 7:30 p.m. March 31 and April 1, and 3 p.m. April 2. $15 ages 17 and older, otherwise $7. 843-488-0821, www.coastalyouththeatre.com, or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
▪ “Coppelia” by Coastal Dance Centre’s Coastal Youth Ballet Theatre (with studios in Myrtle Beach and Murrells Inlet), performed at Christ United Methodist Church, 2901 Fantasy Way, close to U.S. 501 and George Bishop Parkway, just west of Myrtle Beach and the Intracoastal Waterway, across from Medieval Times Dinner & Tournament, just west of Myrtle Beach – 10 a.m. March 31 for area schools with students in grades 1-12, for free (call Sandra Hucks for reservations); and public show, 4 p.m. April 1, for $20 general, $18 ages 65 and older and for groups of 15 more individuals, and free ages 3-13 with accompanying adult. 843-839-5678, 843-651-2006 or cybt.org.
▪ Long Bay Symphony Youth Orchestra and Coastal Carolina University Orchestra, in spring concert – with music by such composers as Brahms, Wagner and Saint-Saëns – 7:30 p.m. April 27 in CCU’s Wheelwright Auditorium, on main campus, accessed from U.S. 501 or S.C. 544 in Conway. $10 adults, $5 students. 843-448-8379 or longbaysymphony.com.
▪ 22nd annual Dance Recital, “Born to Perform,” by Litchfield Dance Arts Academy – based at 97 Otis Drive, Litchfield Beach – June 4 at Waccamaw High School, 2412 Kings River Road, Pawleys Island., with preshow at noon, with solos; Act I at 2 p.m., with big ballet; and Act II at 4 p.m., with tumbling and variety. $20 for whole day for ages 13 and older, otherwise free. 843-237-7465 or www.litchfielddance.com.
COASTAL CAROLINA UNIVERSITY STUDENTS
Mostly on the main campus, accessed from U.S. 501 or S.C. 544 in Conway. Also, check with box office, based at Wheelwright Auditorium, for discounts that might be available for senior citizens, Osher Lifelong Learning Institute members, CCU alumni, teens, children, and CCU and Horry-Georgetown Technical College faculty and staff – 843-349-2787 (ARTS) or www.coastal.edu/culturalarts:
▪ Ninth annual “Isn’t It Romantic?” 7:30 p.m. March 13 in Wheelwright Auditorium, with CCU concert and chamber choirs. $7.
▪ “Women in Music: a Celebration of Women’s History Month,” 7:30 p.m. March 14 in Edwards Recital Hall. $7.
▪ Second annual CCU Jazz Festival, 7:30 p.m. March 21-22 in Wheelwright Auditorium, with CCU Jazz Ensemble and CCU Jazz Combo, respectively. $17 nightly.
▪ CalypSamba Spring Concert, with CCU World Percussion Ensemble and Victor Provost, 7:30 p.m. March 23 in Wheelwright Auditorium. $7.
▪ “Big Love” play, 7:30 p.m. March 30-April 1 and April 5-7, and 3 and 7:30 p.m. April 8, in CCU Myrtle Beach Education Center Theater, on 79th Avenue North, off U.S. 17. $17.
▪ CCU Percussion Ensemble Spring Concert, 7:30 p.m. April 11 in Wheelwright Auditorium. $7.
▪ “Celebrations,” with various showcases on stage per date, 7:30 p.m. April 19-22 and 3 p.m. April 23 in Edwards Recital Hall. Each $7.
▪ “Take It to the Limit: POP 101 Presents the Songs of the Eagles and Linda Ronstadt,” 7:30 p.m. April 20 in Wheelwright Auditorium. $7.
Contact Steve Palisin at 843-444-1764.