- Fairview Driver Totals Super’s CarPosted 18 hours ago
- NJ Eyes Virtual Snow DaysPosted 3 days ago
- Dodd Terrace Residents Complain About MusicPosted 1 week ago
- Top Stories For September 2014Posted 2 weeks ago
- PBA, Town Talk Tech But No SolutionPosted 4 weeks ago
- Veronan Named NJ Teacher Of The YearPosted 4 weeks ago
- Gas Station Murder Case To Be RetriedPosted 4 weeks ago
- Softball Field VandalizedPosted 1 month ago
- Veronans Join People’s Climate MarchPosted 1 month ago
- Top Stories For August 2014Posted 2 months ago
Family Brings Family-Friendly ‘Shrek’ To VHS
Shrek is a family-friendly tale, both in its original Dreamworks animation and its Broadway musical version. There are fictional families in the story, like Lord Farquaad and his father the king, Princess Fiona and her father King Harold, and of course Fiona and Shrek in the end. But in the Verona High School version–which runs from Thursday to Saturday, March 6 to 8–there are some families in the 30-member cast as well. Like Kelsey and Carina Mitchell, Colin and Abby Pope, Katie and Nick Kast, and the biggest family cast of all, the Williams family.
VHS senior Austin Williams is the lead Shrek, with his usually slender frame wrapped in a fat suit for the production and his head shaved to be suitably ogre. His sister Miranda, a sophomore, plays the teenage version of Fiona for the opening number and then heads to the wings of the stage to help with the crew. That’s what the audiences will see, but there’s more: The show has also benefitted from the assistance of Austin and Miranda’s parents. Mom Melody–she’s “Mamma” to one and all in the Shrek cast–choreographed the show and dad Tom helped build the set and handle the show’s technical details. Melody Williams is also the current president of the Spotlight Players Association, the booster group that supports theater at VHS.
Given Verona’s reliance on volunteers to make activities happen, it’s not uncommon to find parents involved in them: They haul drums and gear as Marching Band parents and use their college player credentials to coach sports. So it is too with the Williamses.
Melody grew up in Kentucky and was spurred to audition for the prestigious New York City performance school Juilliard by a theater teacher in her home state. At Juilliard, she studied alongside Marsha Cross from Desperate Housewives, Eric LaSalle from ER, Bradley Whitford (The West Wing), Kelly McGillis (Top Gun), and Kevin Spacey (House of Cards on Netflix). If you saw the 1987 Broadway version of Les Liaisons Dangereuses, Melody Williams was in the cast with the ever malevolent Alan Rickman (Professor Severus Snape in Harry Potter). Tom, meanwhile, was performing in regional theater in the south. After Tom and Melody met (while performing Lend Me a Tenor) they moved to New York City and Tom moved full time into stage crew work.
Verona got its first glimpse of the Williamses’ theatrical streak in 2010, when Austin starred in Seussical at H.B. Whitehorne. (His co-star in that performance was Gabe Riccitelli as Horten; Riccitelli will also be his onstage buddy in Shrek, as the extremely talkative Donkey.) He’s been in several VHS plays and musicals, playing the dentist with a fondness for laughing gas in Little Shop of Horrors, the unfortunate Scout contestant in Putnam County Spelling Bee, and the geeky violinist in Fame. He also rocked the very first Cops & Rockers teen band competition at VHS, as the lead vocalist for the winning band, Fusion. But theater might not be in his future after he graduates this June: Austin has an interest computer technology and would like to train in the U.S. Navy’s SEAL special operations force.
“Shrek, The Musical”, will be at VHS from Thursday, March 6 to Saturday, March 8 at 7:30 p.m. Tickets for students will be $5 on March 6. For the other performances, students will be $8. Tickets for seniors are $8 at all performances and adults are $10. All tickets will be sold at the door.
Get News Updates By Email
Fairview Driver Totals Super’s Car
A motorist on Fairview Avenue sideswiped a car belonging...
- Posted 18 hours ago
Eagles Tie Caldwell, Eye Playoffs
Last Sunday the two top teams from each division...
- Posted 21 hours ago
Cub Scouts Collect Candy For Troops
If your goblins get an excess of Halloween candy...
- Posted 2 days ago
Where In Verona Is It? Week 52
This is it folks: The last week of MyVeronaNJ.com’s...
- Posted 3 years ago
Where In Verona Is It? Week 22
Naughty? Nice? We’re not going to be judgmental. We’re...
- Posted 4 years ago
PSEG: Here’s Verona Outage Map
With the millions of homes without power around New...
- Posted 2 years ago