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Island school taking annual student musical online

By TIFFANY REPECKI / trepecki@breezenewspapers.com - | Jun 8, 2021

The Sanibel School’s performing arts students will put on a virtual performance of a Disney classic, with a twist, this week and the community is invited to secure their tickets and enjoy the show.

On June 10 and 11 at 6:30 p.m., the youths will present “Disney’s Aladdin Jr.” Tickets are about $8 — $5, plus a small processing fee — with the funds going to support the school’s Music Department.

Music Director Joey Giangreco explained that performing arts is an elected class at the school for eighth-grade students. They meet during the second semester and plan for one show each year.

“We always work in the class to put on one musical production,” he said.

“Disney’s Aladdin Jr.” is based off the Broadway version of the movie “Aladdin.”

“So you’ll have some familiar favorites throughout the musical,” Giangreco said.

There will be well-known songs like “A Whole New World,” “Friend Like Me” and “Arabian Nights.” Because it is based off the Broadway version, the audience will also enjoy new selections not in the original movie, like “Babakak, Omar, Aladdin, Kassim,” “High Adventure” and “These Palace Walls.”

“It does tell the classic story of the original Disney movie, but it has a little twist to it,” he said. “And some new and exciting characters are part of the show.”

“I think it’s a great musical to showcase our talented students,” Giangreco added. “There’s a lot of wonderful production numbers throughout the musical and a lot of great parts.”

Prior to the start of the show, the school’s Seahorse Chorale will perform as the opening act. He explained that the group is the middle school choir and the members will sing five songs.

The selections consist of “Bonse Aba,” arranged by Victor C. Johnson; “How Can I keep From Singing,” arranged by Greg Gilpin; “Riversong,” by Andy Beck; “Shine On Me,” arranged by Rollo Dilworth; and “Ob-La-Di, Ob-La-Da,” by John Lennon and Paul McCartney.

The cast for “Disney’s Aladdin Jr.” is: Preston Hanni as Aladdin; Kayce Nette as Jasmine; Liza Longenhagen as Genie; Ronan Maughan as Jafar; Cole Fields as Sultan; Jenna Cook as Iago; Nik Bakos as Babkak; Karsten Schafer as Omar; Kennedy Hanni as Kassim; Marit Foster as Isir; Casey Sackman as Manal; Olympia Decosta as Rajah; Luke Williams as Razoul; Alex Erickson as Prince Abdulah; Liza Agibalova-Garcia and Ava Selby as shop owners; Ava Camputaro as apple vendor; Emalee Peach as fortune teller; Samantha Pascual and Aika Billheimer as guards; Siena Lodwick and Caroline Muddell as attendants; and Luke Williams as Cave of Wonders/Spooky Voice.

All the sets for the show were painted by the students, led by Visual Arts Director Erica Sharp.

“We’ve had many challenges throughout the semester with the pandemic and restrictions for safety, but we’ve still been able to rise to the challenge of putting forward a production,” Giangreco said.

“I could not be more proud of my performing arts students throughout this semester,” he added. “Their dedication to rehearsals and practice has been inspiring to see. They have worked so hard.”

Giangreco extended appreciation to the Creative Theater Workshop and its director, where the school rented the costumes, props and lighting from and which also helped with setting things up. He extended a special thank you also to production Assistant Director Missy Calkin for all of her help and support.

“She has been a tremendous help in preparing for our production,” Giangreco said.

The public can purchase tickets to the shows up until the performances start.

“A large portion of the ticket sales will go to support the Music Department,” he said, explaining that the funding will support the department in the upcoming school year, plus that musical production.

For tickets, visit https://www.showtix4u.com/event-details/53209.

“We’ll also be accepting donations through the Website,” Giangreco said. “So we welcome all donations to the Music Department and we thank everyone in advance for their support.”

The community is encouraged to hop online and get their tickets.

“‘Disney’s Aladdin Jr.’ is a fun and exciting musical, featuring a cast of students with amazing talents,” he said. “See the wonderful talent that our students have to offer and enjoy a spin on a Disney classic.”

For more information, contact Giangreco at josephag@leeschools.net.