A Magic Carpet Ride For “Aladdin”
Audiences were invited to hop on a flying carpet to visit the exciting city of Shammar in Old Arabia as McConnellsburg elementary and middle schools presented the pioneer drama musical “Aladdin and His Wonderful, Magical Lamp” November 15, 16 and 17.
As the audience went along, they met the adventurous Aladdin (Elliott Wakefield) and his mischievous monkey, Alakazam (Cecelia Harper). Aladdin’s mother (Sydney Rezzetano) and sister Neela (Megan Fix) were at their wit’s end trying to get Aladdin to settle down. It wasn’t easy, especially with the merchant woman (Sheridan Perry) and neighbor (Erika Eichelberger) complaining about Aladdin’s tricks. Aladdin met the beautiful Prin-cess Jasmine (Olivia Alexander) and vowed he would marry her. Aladdin, however, was visited by the evil magician, Jammal (Kaleb Skiles), and his wicked sister, Halima ( Grace Strait). They knew that only a boy named Aladdin could enter the mysterious cave, which housed a strange lamp containing a genie who would grant Jammal all the power he craved. Tricking Jammal, Aladdin claimed the magic lamp for himself and with its power, won the princess and impressed the sultan (Damon Knepper) by building a beautiful palace. But Jammal wasn’t through with his evil ways. He regained possession of the lamp, kidnapped Jasmine and magically transported Aladdin’s new palace to the shores of Morocco! Aladdin, in his attempt to save Jasmine, faced Chop-Chop (Edward Wenschhof), the executioner, and, of course, regained possession of the lamp. The audiences cheered the finale when Aladdin and Jasmine were reunited and Jammal was transformed into a new person.
Along the journey, we met not one, but three, genies (Landon Conner, Joel Godissart and Jonah Peck), the whining Ali “Bubba” (Thorton Carter Garlock) and his umbrella, two serving maids Zara and Sheba (Emma Ott and Nicole Treml), Scheherazade the storyteller (Krystal Stermer), the fire-breathing dragon (Hailey Elkins, Logan Conner and Deanne Dickerson) and the haughty sultan’s wife (Briana McFadden).
Noreen Mann continues to provide a standard of excellence as music director. She and the orchestra (Barb MacDonald, Phil Debski, Karen Semanek and James Griest) came through as always with the most wonderful musical support. Noreen spends time with the actors individually and as an entire ensemble, teaching them to tell a story to audiences through musical theatre.
This was Hope Moore’s seventh production as artistic director for MES/MMS musicals. She has also served as the artistic director for the summer community outreach productions since 2006 and as director-intraining and assistant-tothe director for the MHS musicals since 2004.
Susan Cubbage returned as set design/ construction supervisor and costume mistress. Sue and her stage crew, including veteran stagehand Doug Seiders and Brady Seiders and first-year artist Amanda Cunningham, are to be applauded for their ability to make this adventure story come to life and their ability to manage the actors and assure a smooth transition to the scenes. Sue also oversaw the parents and family members who completed costumes in addition to the costumes she completed herself two volunteer assistants Rebecca Souders and Nancy Harris.
Susanne Moore can be proud of all she did to successfully complete her sixth year producing the MES/MMS musical. In addition to all of her accomplishments behind the scenes, Susanne achieved good box office for the three performances with the assistance of Deanne Dickerson completing her senior project.
Karen Godissart completed her first year as choreographer for the MES/MMS musical and was delightful at bringing the show to life through creative dance numbers.
A job well done is extended to Cassie Wilford with her crew (Kirsten Wilford) and Cody Parson with his crew (Jason Pecho and Isaiah Covert) for illuminating the characters in a way that brought the story to life through lights and spots.
Congratulations to Logan Conner, Katelynn Mellott, Rachel Leese and Forrest Plessinger for their willingness to share their time and talents with the cast as assistants to the director and music director. The production was also fortunate to have several other faculty and students from MHS and parents assisting.
The behind-the-scenes crew, the community and businesses who donated monetary support each should know that they are appreciated by the wonderful performances given.
In addition to the generosity of several local individuals and businesses, this project was supported in part by the Fulton County Medical Center Foundation and the Pennsylvania Council on the Arts, a state agency, through the Pennsylvania Partners in the Arts (PPA), its regional arts funding partnership. State government funding for the arts depends upon an annual appropriation by the Pennsylvania General Assembly and from the National Endowment for the Arts, a federal agency. PPA is administered in this region by the Cultural Alliance of York County.