Another musical production is heading to Warde this coming spring. Mr. Frattaroli is directing the comedy City of Angels, written by Larry Gelbart, and unites various art departments around the school to help contribute to the making. Preparation and enthusiasm from the students and teachers involved are already in the midst as each one does their part.
Filling up most of the slots for singers and band members in this show comes from the music department. Mr. Marsland holds the role as the musical director to guide the band in, melodizing the score. Taking place in the 1940’s, the tone of the score has a classic jazzy touch to it, exciting Marsland for his direction with the band.
To add the choreography, senior Katelyn Crews gives both experienced and newly introduced students lessons on basic swing dances. The vocal coach, Ms. Hallama, was recently brought in as well to offer more skilled hands to rehearsals.
Providing the costumes in the long run is Mrs. Becker along with senior Katie Harris, and the AP art students craft decorations and designs for the set. General assistance in guiding the directing of the play comes from the help of Mrs. Verney-Fink and Frattaroli. All work cooperatively on each big set to eventually combine them into what is to be a fantastic musical.
City of Angels is Broadway comedy about a writer trying to adapt his novel into a movie. In doing so his characters come to life before him. Most of them are based on people in his real life so consequently there are several roles for each actor. One for the “reality” and one for the acted out characters. To differentiate the scenes within the story the reality has a brought-out color scheme while the fictional characters are presented in black and white.
Frattaroli chose this play from his own personal viewing of the show. When picking which shows to do for the school, Frattaroli claims to pick ones with “less dance,” and has roles that would appeal to upperclassmen and female actors. In his mind these are the types that he can direct well and ones that would reward theater loving students who have been enrolled with the program for a long time. Female students also turn up for most of the auditions. “This doesn’t mean I don’t pick shows that don’t have good roles for boys or don’t cast [underclassmen],” he states.
He is open to a variety of castings as shown in the City of Angels which has a lot of male roles and swing dance sets. Essentially any production scheme could work but like any director, however, it must fit into their own vision and resources available to them.
With such resources, the school district provides a paid sum to the staff members and helpful financial support to get the production running. Money profited from each showing is collected to help pay for costumes and supplies that the school’s facilities don’t already provide.
Mr. Frattaroli regularly teaches acting classes within the school. For 19 years he has been involved producing musicals and plays. In a period of sickness he was forced to take a break but now being back on the program he continues to put in his efforts and produce fun, loving shows for students and the community. What he looks forward in these preparations is for the cast to have fun and reach “artistic aims” as a theater program.