GREEN BAY, Wis. (WFRV) – Green Bay East High School is preparing to put on a big show, completely virtual.
Tonight is the opening night of their mid-winter musical theater production, Leader of the Pack: The Ellie Greenwich Musical. The hit 1980’s musical is based on the life of Grammy-nominated singer Ellie Greenwich. It is the first modern Broadway musical to tell the story of a real person through their songs. The show takes the audience on a journey through the highs and lows of her life to the melody of Greenwich’s hit doo-wop songs that reached the top of the charts in the 1960s.
Approximately 60 students and four directors are involved in the show. The mid-winter musical theatre production, taking place entirely on Zoom, presented challenges for everyone involved.
“It’s something I’ve never done before, and it was new so that wasn’t so much the issue, it was just how do we pull off the ideas. My motto this year was challenge accepted. It seemed to fit because almost everything we did with this show has been a challenge, and the kids accepted it. I wanted a performance opportunity for our kids so that they could do something in theater and music, tell a story, sing, play instruments, but it took on a lot of new challenges,” says Maureen Tjoflat, Director of Choirs and Music Theatre.
Despite facing those challenges of harmonizing and rehearsing dance numbers without physically being together, students enjoyed the entire process.
“One of the best parts of the whole thing for me was when we got to see the first video put together like a song. We just kind of felt like oh we can actually pull this off,” says Addison Grant, a senior at Green Bay East. Grant is playing sultry, soul singer Darlene Love.
With schools having to cancel extracurricular activities, students are grateful for getting the opportunity to spend time with their classmates.
“It was really nice being able to see your classmates outside of class, because that’s not something you get in virtual school usually. It was nice to have that bit of normalcy and do something that reminds you of normal school,” says junior, Peter Kiernan. Kiernan plays music publisher Gus Sharkey in the musical.
Leader of the Pack: The Ellie Greenwich Musical will run from February 12-20.
For more information on how to purchase tickets, click here.