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Annual Variety Show Holds First Performances in Benjamin Hall

Sixth+grader+Emeline+Smith+%28center%29+gets+help+from+fellow+sixth+grader+Lucy+Campbell+%28left%29+and+seventh+grader+Grace+Meyers+%28right%29+during+%22The+Lion+King%22+number+during+the+Variety+Show+on+Saturday%2C+January+16.
Sixth grader Emeline Smith (center) gets help from fellow sixth grader Lucy Campbell (left) and seventh grader Grace Meyers (right) during

Sixth grader Emeline Smith (center) gets help from fellow sixth grader Lucy Campbell (left) and seventh grader Grace Meyers (right) during "The Lion King" number during the Variety Show on Saturday, January 16.

Mr. Crisafi

Mr. Crisafi

Sixth grader Emeline Smith (center) gets help from fellow sixth grader Lucy Campbell (left) and seventh grader Grace Meyers (right) during "The Lion King" number during the Variety Show on Saturday, January 16.

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Broadway performers, world music, talented dancers, and Elvis impersonators can mean only one thing: the Variety Show! This year, the program’s twentieth, was held on Saturday, January 16, and was the first time the show was held at Benjamin Hall. For the past 19 years it was held at Palm Beach State College’s Eissey Theater.

“We encountered some challenges producing our first Variety Show in Benjamin Hall that we hadn’t faced at the Eissey Theater,” said Mrs. Sara Salivar, the show’s artistic director and the upper school’s performing arts department chair. “But ultimately the results were exactly what we had hoped for. We did not have as big a technical staff as we were used to at the Eissey Theater, but we were able to use students in certain capacities who rose to the occasion. I was very pleased with the results, especially with its being our first year in Benjamin Hall!”

The annual show, which this year offered performances at 1:30 p.m. and 7:00 p.m., was the culmination of months of preparation that began in September. Comprised of students in all three divisions, the program includes participants ranging from second grade to twelfth grade. “Colors of the World” was this year’s theme, so many of the acts possessed an international flair. After Variety Show Chair Mrs. Sherie Katz ’83 welcomed the audience, the program kicked off with some German culture as former Broadway Star Jill Nicklaus ’89 led current Dazzlers and TBS moms in a few Bob Fosse-inspired numbers from his musical Cabaret.

The middle school soon got in on the act as the dance technique classes, taught by Mrs. Piper Crisafi and Mrs. Rachel Rudner, donned neon attire for their Asian-inspired K-pop number. The trip around the world then stopped in the USA as the annual daddy/daughter dance featured one of the funniest acts: poodle-skirt-clad students dancing with their Elvis-impersonating dads. “It is an astonishing feeling that you get when you are up there, and all of your friends are there to support you,” said sixth grader Emeline Smith, who participated in the dance with her father, Upper School Athletic Director Ryan Smith ’93.

The dance technique classes also performed a French medley and danced to “El Matador,” a Spanish song by Los Fabulosos Cadillacs. Continuing the international theme, the Sparklers, the

Eighth grader Katie Abrams leads her line of dancers during the show's "French Medley."

Mr. Crisafi
Eighth grader Katie Abrams leads her line of dancers during the show’s “French Medley.”

middle school dance team, danced to an Israeli song while Dance Ensemble performed a number to Ester Dean’s “Take You to Rio.” The middle school musical theater students, under the direction of Mr. Andrew Winters and Mr. Bob Bayless, also took to the stage for an impressive Beatles medley that featured the students singing and dancing.

“I thought that the show went very well,” said seventh-grade musical theater student Grace Myers. “I was nervous going up on stage and performing in front of that many people. I have never done anything like this before.”

One of the most impressive acts involving the Middle School was The Lion King medley. More than 40 students in each division participated and were dressed in elaborate costumes that included giraffes, zebras, gazelles, monkeys, birds, and lions. The 11-minute number featured several songs from The Lion King soundtrack and took months to perfect.
“Mr. Winters and Ms. McAllister began teaching them the lyrics in late September and I started working with them on choreography in late October,” said Crisafi. “Seeing the kids around the community now and having them hug me and say how much they miss the experience already is the best reward.”

When it was all said and done, Benjamin, under the direction of Salivar, had delivered another top notch Variety Show. “It was fun to virtually and artistically travel the world,” she said. “The Lower and Middle Schools brought great energy and excitement to their numbers. Overall, I was so pleased with the results!”

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1 Comment

One Response to “Annual Variety Show Holds First Performances in Benjamin Hall”

  1. Deborah on February 20th, 2016 9:47 pm

    Nice job

    [Reply]

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Annual Variety Show Holds First Performances in Benjamin Hall