58th Brillianteen show next month

The McGaw YMCA’s Brillianteen presents its 2009 musical, the classic comedy Bye Bye Birdie, next month.

Brillianteen, now in its 58th year, gives students who otherwise may not have the opportunity, a chance to be involved in music and the arts.

Over 200 high school students, 50+ adult volunteers, and over 50 local business sponsors are on board for this season’s production at King Lab school Auditorium, 2424 Lake St.

The cast features Evanston Township High School students Daniel Poneman and Justin Patino (Conrad), Joe Reed (Albert), Meredith Taylor (Rosie), Charlotte Page (Kim), and Davide Harris (Hugo).

The creative team includes adult volunteers Judy Kemp (Director), Cindi Schuneman (Choreographer), Linda Perney (Musical Director), Trimmy Stamell (Technical Manager), Sarah Flax (Business Manager), and Jan Perney (Accompanist), as well as ETHS students Sarah Angell and Emma Rosen (Stage Managers).

The 2009 Showboard is led by Judy Hughes, Arts Program Manager at the McGaw YMCA, and ETHS senior Sylvie Doppelt.

Bye Bye Birdie by composer Charles Strouse, lyricist Lee Adams and writer Michael Stewart, is a fun-for-all-ages comedy set in the 1960s.

As part of a publicity stunt, rock and roll star Conrad Birdie is booked on the Ed Sullivan Show to perform and kiss his biggest fan before enlisting in the army. Romance and laughter ensue. Songs include: "What’s the Matter with Kids Today", "Bye Bye Birdie" and "We Love you Conrad".

For the past 58 years, Brillianteen has provided area high school juniors and seniors with the opportunity to experience every aspect of putting on a Broadway musical.

Students, under the guidance of adult volunteers, are charged with everything from creating the costumes to building the sets. Through this no-cut program, the teenagers sing, dance, act, or are part of a committee managing all of the behind-the-scenes action. Brillianteen is administered by the McGaw YMCA, an open, charitable, membership association that promotes growth in spirit, mind and body through programs and services for all our diverse community.

The performance schedule is Friday, March 13 at 7:30 p.m.; Sunday, March 15 at 2 p.m.; Friday, March 20 at 7:30 p.m.; Saturday, March 21 at 7:30 p.m.; and Sunday, March 22 at 2 p.m.

General admission tickets, priced at $15, are available online or by phone
at 847-475-7400, ext. 277. McGaw YMCA and Brillianteen supporters can purchase priority Angel ($65) or Patron ($35) tickets.

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