Broadway Junior

Grand County students performing in a previous year’s Broadway Junior performance. This year’s performance is on Friday, March 15. [Photo courtesy of Gail Wakefield]

Students and educators have been practicing their singing and choreography in anticipation of the Broadway Junior performance on March 15 and the Broadway Review shows on March 29 and 30.

Broadway Junior is a weeklong afterschool camp for children in kindergarten through eighth grades, with the final evening being the March 15 performance at the Grand County High School auditorium, 608 S. 400 East, that the public is invited to attend.

The Broadway Review on March 29 and 30 is bringing talented performers in the community together as adults and students of all ages perform a number of songs from popular musicals. Adult participants do not have to be affiliated with the schools and for those interested in performing, there is still time to join in the production.

The Broadway Junior performance is free for the public to attend, but donations are being accepted. Tickets for the Broadway Review are $8 for adults, $5 for seniors and children or $25 for a family pass.

The performers are directed by Moab Charter School special education teacher Gail Wakefield and high school auditorium manager and student government facilitator Maralee Francis.

“We wanted to give the opportunity for younger students to experience the joy of performing music and dance from Broadway and even some movies,” Francis said. “Broadway Review began as a collaborative effort headed up by Bonnie Nielson back in 2014, I believe. Our goal was, and still is, to give community members the chance to be on stage or just watch and celebrate musical theater together.”

Francis said Broadway Junior is in its fourth year and Broadway Review in its sixth year of production. The Broadway Review will kick off with a short performance by the high school jazz band.

As many as 60 to 70 students have performed in past Broadway Junior shows and casts of 25-50 in past renditions of the Broadway Review.

The Broadway Junior performance will include songs from “The Lion King,” “Mary Poppins,” “Peter Pan” and “Footloose.”

The Broadway Review will consist of songs from “The Music Man,” “Annie” and “West Side Story.”

Wakefield’s daughter Josie, a high school student, said she appreciates being able to work with children on the show as she is considering pursuing an eventual career in education.

“It’s fun for me,” she said.

Proceeds from both events will benefit the high school music and drama programs, including the purchase and repair of instruments and costumes. Additionally, the stage is in need of a new layer of paint, which will benefit all uses of the auditorium.

“We love musical theater and just want to share that love with young children as well as adults in our Moab community,” Francis said. “Both events offer very entertaining performances for audiences of all ages. We'd love to see as many people come as we can to share the music with us.”

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