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Mahwah Actors To Bring Broadway To Township

Student-directed performance samples former and current Broadway shows

This Thursday night, a group of seniors are set to show off their directing chops. The sixth annual Broadway Comes To Mahwah is an opportunity for drama club students to craft a performance showcasing selections from past and present Broadway musicals.

“We started it in 2007 under our late drama teacher JoAnne Fox,” Mahwah grad Tommy Walker said. “Her idea was to give the senior students a chance to really control what they were performing in. It has been a huge learning experience every year.”

Students say current drama club advisor Jean Johnson has continued the tradition. This year, five Mahwah seniors are directing, producing, planning and choreographing Thursday’s show. “It’s a great way to have us all express ourselves,” Mahwah senior Chris Kolwicz, who is one of the show’s directors, said. “Each one of the seniors has a different strength, so when you bring them all together you get a great production.”

The show, Kolwicz said, has 17 Broadway numbers in it. “Everything from Rent to the new show Thirteen, and everything in between. The numbers are so diverse, that you really end up with a variety show.”

Broadway Comes to Mahwah originally began as a fundraiser for the drama club’s other productions during the year. “Now, we also use some of the money to fund theater student scholarships. It’s a really nice way to help kids who contributed to the Mahwah stage while they were in high school,” Kolwicz said.

This year, the performance has expanded beyond high school students. Kolwicz said a group of elementary school students who were in the drama club’s spring are performing a number from You’re a Good Man, Charlie Brown, in the revue.  “Having the support from the younger kids and their parents has been amazing,” he said. “They are really excited about performing here, and it’s cool to sort of pass the torch to this younger generation.”

The senior said having younger performers involved also provides an opportunity for more community involvement in the show. “It’s open to anyone and everyone,” he said.

The show is this Thursday, May 17, at 7 p.m. in the MHS auditorium. Tickets for Broadway Comes To Mahwah are $10 for adults and $7 for students, and they are sold at the door.

A silent auction begins at 5 p.m. Items up for bid include four field level tickets to a Yankees game, a signed Eli Manning football, an IPOD touch, digital cameras, watches, Juicy Couture pocketbook, artwork, gift cards to local restaurants and stores, cookware sets, gift baskets, and more. Funds raised support future MHS productions and student scholarships.

Have a question or a news tip? Email the editor Jessica Mazzola at jessica.mazzola@patch.com. Or, follow us on Facebook and Twitter. For news straight to your email inbox, sign up for our daily newsletter.

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