TIPP CITY — What’s old is new again in the latest production by the Tippecanoe High School theater program, “Hello! My Baby.”
The show combines the standards of Irving Berlin and Ira Gershwin into a new romantic comedy set on the streets on New York at the turn of the last century.
The production opens with a free show for senior citizens on Thursday, March 15, and continues through March 18. Performances will be held at the Tippecanoe High School Center for Performing Arts at 7:30 p.m. March 15-17 and at 2:30 p.m. on March 18.
“It’s just a lot of fun. It will make you happy. If you come into this room and you’re sad and you’ve got problems, it will lift your spirits,” junior Melanie Dodson said. Dodson plays Betty Gold, a seamstress who will do whatever it takes to achieve her goals, including posing as Buddy O’Reilly to get a job. “Betty is in love with Mickey, but Buddy is his rival. But he doesn’t know that they’re the same person.”
Mickey McKee, played by junior Alec Group, dreams of writing the next hit song when he meets Betty, who becomes his sweetheart, partner and arch-rival by turns.
Director Marjorie Strader said she was unsure how today’s high schoolers would take to Tin Pan Alley music from the 1900s, but was surprised to find the cast loved the show.
“The music is 100 years old, it’s set about 100 years ago. It’s music I knew growing up mostly because my parents knew it from their childhoods,” Strader said. “I thought I would have a really hard time selling them on this show because of the music, but they are having a blast. They are just loving it.”
Emmy Award winner Cheri Steinkellner (Sister Act) wove classic tunes into a new romantic comedy that touches on class struggles, social reform and more.
The cast features seniors Audrey Fairbanks, Logan Trzeciak, Ria Bhagwat, Alec Schwartz, Ethan Sinning and Taylor Haggerty; juniors Melanie Dodson, Alec Group, Annie Livesay, Olivia Hamilton, Jackson Hottle and Taylor Haggerty; sophomores Katie Reeder and Elise Cooper, and freshman Adam Reed. An additional 30 high school students round out the ensemble cast.
Production staff includes choreographer Annette Looper, set designer Ranger Puterbaugh, and production assistants Amy Janning and Carly Pike. “Hello! My Baby” is stage managed by juniors Michele Morgan and Ellie Baker and sophomore Kirsten Hartke.
Pre-show entertainment will be provided beginning 15 minutes prior to curtain time by Back to School, a local barbershop quartet with members Dale McKinney, Jim Riley, Gary Roeth and Ron Ventura.
Reserved seat tickets may be purchased at tippdrama.com. Tickets will also be on sale at the doors of the theater beginning 45 minutes prior to the show. Students (up to grade 12) are $5 and adults are $10. The doors to the theater will open approximately 30 minutes prior to the production.
For more information, please contact Margie Strader at email@example.com or Amy Janning at firstname.lastname@example.org
Reach Cecilia Fox at email@example.com.