Tibbits Young Audiences cast announced for “Charleston”

Tibbits Young Audiences cast announced for “Charleston”

The Roaring 20s with its Ziegfeld Girls, raccoon coats, ukuleles, goldfish swallowers and gangsters come to life as students in Tibbits Young Audiences production of “Charleston” prepare song, dance and an array of memorable characters to be presented March 20, 21, 22 at Tibbits Opera House.

This lively children’s musical set in the vibrant 1920s, was written by Tim Kelly with music and lyrics by Bill Francoeur. A cast of 50 fourth through eighth graders from across the county busily memorize lines and learn blocking as they bring to life one of the most fun and highly romanticized eras in America.

In the show Alison Harvey plays Polly Pepper a young flapper about to turn 18 years old. She plans a wacky birthday party with all her friends. Stuart Sobeske plays Buck Wayne, Polly’s new boyfriend, who wouldn’t miss the birthday celebration for anything, even if he has to land his private plane on the lawn of the polo grounds.

Polly's rich aunt Mrs. Granville played by Haley Robison, plans to give Polly a valuable family necklace. The aunt’s money and heirloom diamonds bring out a host of con artists and mobsters with clever plots to relieve her of her valuables. The shady cast of crooks includes the Duchess and Duke of Milford played by Veronica White and Martin White, mobsters Cheater Hayes and Muggs O'Toole played by Lucas Stewart and William Odisher, and Mona Schlumpgarden and Trixie of the Crazy Cat Nite Club played by Ella Budd and Anna Turner. As they plan to grab the necklace and crash Polly’s party, the plans are defeated in hilarious fashion.

The story is filled with terrific characters like Margaret the faithful housekeeper played Samantha Peiffer; radio personality Ted Loveland played by Hayden Shimizu and Monica Woodsquirrel of Radio Station WWWW atop Hotel Times Square played by Gabriela Rutz; crime

fighter Lieutenant Fluke played by Trentin Lyons; and ’flagpole sitter’ Lenny Knickerbocker played by Shaun Coleman.

The cast also includes Polly's friends played by Anna-Marie Vorce, Rilee Cooper-Lewis, Parkyr (sic) Jones, Owen Wortz, Kaitlyn Noble, Alex Pickell, Owen Needham, Lexi Galliers, Miya Rose, and Kelly Warner. The Everly Sisters are played by Bridgette Meyers, Jillian Groves, Brynn Niedzwiecki , Mae Blansit, Shelby Taber and Emily Fagen. The Newsgirls are played by Rachel Rutz, Sydney Gallop, Alison Turner, Delaney Squires and Claire Wortz. The glitzy Zeigfield Girls, are played by Audrey Waltke, Kaylee Swift, Megan Barnes, Taylor Mendendorp, Makinzie Groves, Lydia Kaniewski, Alyssa Fisher and Nevaeh Earl. Other talented young actors in TYA's production of “Charleston” include Nicholas Herendeen, Jaden Swartz, Blaine Haylett, Paige Kirkpatrick, Alexis Lock, Alex Stewart, and Julia Kirk.

“Charleston” is directed by Julia Littley and produced by Tirsha Odisher. According to Littley, the show is a little different from other recent shows presented by Tibbits Young Audiences. She says, “Learning about the historic era has been interesting and the kids have been working hard to prepare the incredibly challenging dancing for the show! The 1920s jazz music will have the audience tapping their feet the whole way through." The show features fun and jazzy songs reminiscent of the era including “It has to be Jazz,” “’Flapper,” “Dijja Ever?” and, “Ev’rybody, Charleston.”

“Charleston” is generously sponsored by the Kiwanis Club of Coldwater. Children of all ages will enjoy non-stop musical adventure. Performances are March 20 and 21 at 7 pm and March 22 at 2 pm. Tickets are $5 or $7 by credit card. They are available from cast members, online at www.Tibbits.org, by calling 517-278-6029 or at the administrative office at 93 West Chicago Street. Performances are held at the historic Tibbits Opera House, 14 South Hanchett Street, Coldwater, Michigan.

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Charleston cast - Tibbits Young Audiences

A cast of 50 students presents “Charleston” for Tibbits Young Audiences March 20, 21, 22 at Tibbits Opera House.

Charleston rehearsal

The TYA cast rehearses one of the dance numbers from the musical “Charleston”

"Charleston" web page

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