Whether it is the story of Aladdin or Legally Blonde, the musical spirit is beaming from within the Ridgewood High School’s theatre company: the New Players. The RHS New Player community has an enormous place in Ridgewood’s entertainment sphere. This year, the seniors of Ridgewood High School came together to direct and perform in seven captivating Broadway classics. The directors are taking the next month to prepare the shows, which include Grease, Sideshow, Aladdin, The Book of Mormon, Cabaret, Legally Blonde, and Big Fish. Each show was hand-picked by two to four seniors who casted and directed three songs from their chosen play in late January. One of the most exciting aspects of the New Players in Concert show for Josie Clark, the director of Grease along with Claire Andrews and Nikita Sareen, was seeing new peers take the stage. “It was really cool to see how my friends that don’t typically do New Players to really get into the music and sing their hearts out!” Josie says. Not only was it a thrilling moment for the directors, but first-time performers excitedly took to the stage. Will Creedon, a “greaser” in the Grease production, says, “[I am] excited to be on the big stage!”
All of Ridgewood High School tunes in to the New Player productions, and the New Players’ excitement permeated the hallways. Ridgewood High School senior Caitlin Moore comments, “I think it’s great that RHS offers an opportunity to allow seniors to direct their own shows and have their friends in it that would usually not participate in New Players.” New Players veterans Maeve Horna, Allison Paleno, and Morgan Mastrangelo directed Aladdin, with Lena Mazzo as the Genie, Aidan Callaghan as Aladdin, and Teddy Wavle as the Old Man in addition to the sixteen other cast members. Allison Paleno says, “[Aladdin was] a very fun, mysterious, palooza of crazy costumes, choreography, and catchy tunes that everyone knows and loves,” a summary which truly captures the essence of why New Players in Concert is always one of the most anticipated productions of the year.
While every segment within the production was unique, the full company performed “A Musical” from Something Rotten as the opening number, and “Do You Hear The People Sing” from Les Miserables as the closing. In addition, the seniors performed a special number of “Our Time” from Merrily We Roll Along. All in all, the production featured over a hundred Ridgewood High School students, all contributing to the massive success.