Take a bow, kids!

GA was bowled over yesterday by the talent onstage at Hoboken High School's musical/dance production of Footloose.

And if you people don't think it's difficult to sing AND dance simultaneously, have you heard of Britney Spears, Madonna, Janet Jackson,  and Milli Vanilli?   Well all of them are known to lip-sync at live performances because singing while executing dance routines is tough.

There was no lip-syncing onstage yesterday from the ensemble cast of HHS students, ages 12 -18.

The singing was powerful, the choreography great, the acting terrific, and the entire ensemble lit up the place with their spirit and energy.  It was fun to watch.  I stole glances at LA (Little Avenger) during the show to see big smiles from her throughout.

And best of all: the kids did it all themselves- no adult theater professionals imported to burnish the production; the kids OWNED it.

Including costumes, stage production, artwork, set design... down to assisting Theater Teacher/ Director Danielle Miller with choreography and character development. 

Yep, under Miller all the kids got a piece of the show, including jobs that in previous years were outsourced to 'pros. Nope, the kids owned it from soup to nuts.

In fact, Miller announced the creation of a new theatrical Dance Club- the first ever at the High School.  According to Miller, an actress/dancer,  she was inspired to by what she saw in the kids; the new program will harness their natural talent and creativity into theatrical dance performance.   During intermission, the kids gave us a 'sample' dance performance to cheers and applause. Wow.

Thank you, Director Miller for coming up with this exciting new theatrical dance program at the High School.

Anyway, GA spotted some familiar faces in the crowd of mostly parents and friends: BoE members Theresa Minutillo and Maureen Sullivan,  former BoE member Frank Raia and former Theater Director Paula Ohaus.

And surprisingly, former HHS Principal Lorraine Cella.

Why surprising?  Well...

Cella resigned in January 2010, was released from her contract that February, and is now suing the Hoboken Board of Education for wrongful termination. She's currently serving as Superintendent of Schools in Edgewater, NJ. 

GA didn't see her, and only found out through this email received today from someone who was there:
It was great! A big enthusiastic crowd and a lot of love for the kids and Danielle Miller. There's some amazing talent at the HHS. And when Miller debuted the dance club before intermission the audience was very enthusiastic!

But what was Cella doing there? She was hanging with (Mike) Holmes at one point. Did Frank promise her a job? Isn't she suing the BoE?

(redacted) was nauseating acting like the queen begging for attention from everyone in the audience before the show began.

Well, GA guesses what draws women like Cella and Ohaus back to their former school is not the building or its four walls, but enduring affection for its children.

Watching the show must have made them proud. To see these children flourish under new creative leadership, Danielle Miller, must be have been very rewarding.

GA is looking forward to future HHS productions.

Thanks, kids!

(Updated, 4/17 6:00 am)
 GA received this:
Rusty's character was lip synching on Sunday... The musical director who was also playing the keyboards was singing for her. Melissa Arias was supposed to perform but was sidelined with a concussion.... so Ariel Cruz stepped in for her with just 12 hours of rehearsal...So Ariel acted while the Musical Director, Kristen Dziuba sang her parts for her...
I stand corrected!  GA knew that Ariel Cruz- who was terrific- has stepped into the Rusty role at the last minute.  Props to her, and to the lovely voice of Kristen Dziuba.  And to Melissa Arias: GA wishes you a speedy recovery.


  1. So I was right, Ohaus was completely replaceable.


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