Breckenridge Backstage Theatre celebrates young talent in ‘Rising Stars’
If you go
What: “Rising Stars,” a Breckenridge Backstage Theatre production
When: 7 p.m. Friday, April 24, and 2 and 7 p.m. Saturday, April 25
Where: Breckenridge Theatre, 121 S. Ridge St., Breckenridge
Cost: All tickets are $10, plus $2 ticket charge. Tickets are available at the door one hour before each performance time; cash bar and snacks are available
More information: Visit www.backstagetheatre.org, or call (970) 453-0199
‘Rising Stars’ cast
• Gracie Giardina
• Ian Hans
• Paul Hans
• Izzy Imamura
• Sophie Imamura
• Selah Kreeger
• Foster Krueger
• Summer Krueger
• Brody Lineaweaver
• Riley Lineaweaver
• Jaye Mueller
• Niamh Nelson
• Skylar Roberts
• Orion Van Oss
Breckenridge Backstage Theatre will showcase young local talent on Friday, April 24, and Saturday, April 25, with three cabaret productions titled “Rising Stars,” featuring a wide range of musical repertoire from 14 Summit County students.
The idea for the show came from local vocal instructor Lenore Giardina, who proposed it to Backstage Theatre artistic director Christopher Willard. Giardina will direct the show and said it’s the first performance of its kind at the Breckenridge Theatre.
“I have a lot of kids come up to me wishing there were more things to do in the arts, performing arts specifically,” she said. “And I teach voice at my home, so I said, well, I love the idea of doing a kids’ cabaret.”
Some of the cast members are Giardina’s vocal students, and some are kids she knows who have performed in past Backstage productions. She gathered the aspiring stars together and helped choose songs that were familiar to them that they would be comfortable performing. After a few short rehearsals, the cabaret will come to life.
The program for the three performances is an eclectic mix of old and new pop music and selections from Broadway musicals in solo, duet and group format accompanied on piano by Steve Worrall and choreographed by Abbey Austin, who will play some supporting roles along with Giardina.
“It’s a way to get the kids on stage and teach them,” Giardina said. “We’re not having it just one night, but making it be three nights, so they could learn the process of what that’s like to grow with the show each night. If you don’t have a great night on Friday, you might have a great night on Saturday. They improve each time and learn something new.”
Selections include Skylar Roberts singing and performing John Lenon’s “Imagine” on piano and Jaye Mueller with a rendition of a Taylor Swift tune, as well as group numbers from “Annie,” “The Sound of Music” and the middle school program “Seussical Jr.” Eighth-grader Summer Krueger will be singing “I Know Things Now,” from “Into the Woods.”
“I chose that because it’s a hard song and my voice teacher thought my voice was a good pitch for that song,” Krueger said. “And I like that song, too. I love ‘Into the Woods’ the musical.”
Krueger said she likes performing and spending time backstage with the other kids, hanging out and just having a good time. Most of the cast members have a solo, which means everyone gets their time to be featured in the spotlight, she said.
“People might think it’s just a kids’ show, but a lot of them have really, really good voices, and there’s great piano accompaniment, and it will be really cool, I think,” she said. “I think people would really like to see it.”
Fifth-grader Ian Hans will play the role of narrator for the cabaret show, introducing each of the performers, and he echoed Krueger’s endorsement of the “Rising Stars” talent.
“There’s a little bit of comedy in it, I get to say some jokes, and I really like that,” he said, adding that he’s been in a couple of past Backstage productions, including last summer’s production of “Shrek the Musical.” “I like to entertain people and get to make their lives better. …I’m looking forward to entertaining people and making them laugh.”
Closing the season
Giardina said she hopes “Rising Stars” can be the first in a series of periodic kids’ cabaret shows at the Breckenridge Theatre. She’s interested to see how the kids do, how they like the format of the performance, and how all 14 of them are going to fit backstage in the little theater.
“I think this is such a cool idea,” said Kreeger, a high school junior who will be singing “On My Own” from Les Miserables and a duet from “Annie Get Your Gun.” “I love the idea of a cabaret in general and such a wide repertoire of pieces.
“There are so many talented performers that are going to be performing. Some of them, it’s their debut in the theater world, some have been seen before in different plays and productions around summit county. It’s a great way to see their ability and their love for performing, as well.”
The cabaret is the last live performance at the theater before it closes for remodeling.
“I love the idea that the kids are closing it, that it’s going to be a kids’ show closing the theater,” she said. “I like the idea of that, sentimentally. I’m hoping that it’s a hint of what’s going to come that we’re going to try to do more kids’ stuff.
“I’m so grateful that the Backstage is giving me the opportunity to do this — let’s go for it. The kids are so excited.”
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