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Summer musical reflects growth of theater group

Jessica Filkill, as Babbette, and Jeff Munshower, as Lumiere from "Beauty and the Beast," ride in the Fairview Park Summerfest parade July 15 to promote the Fairview Park Fine Arts and Theater Association's summer musical "This Just In...." (West Life photo by Larry Bennet)

Jessica Filkill, as Babbette, and Jeff Munshower, as Lumiere from "Beauty and the Beast," ride in the Fairview Park Summerfest parade July 15 to promote the Fairview Park Fine Arts and Theater Association's summer musical "This Just In...." (West Life photo by Larry Bennet)

Fifty-four thespians took to the stage last summer in “A Step In Time,” the Fairview Park Fine Arts and Theater Association’s first-ever musical.

The cast of “This Just In…,” this summer’s offering from the arts group, numbers 89.

Terri Klopp, the association’s theatrical director, said the larger cast indicates how interest in the theater group has been steadily rising.

“There was definitely a need for something like this in our community, because people are responding very well to this,” Klopp told West Life.

A summer youth theater camp run by the organization saw even larger growth over the past two years. In 201, the camp attracted 11 young actors; this year, 57 attended.

Like last year’s musical, “This Just In…” is an original story that strings together well-known musical numbers from popular Broadway shows.

Klopp said the format is less expensive due to the need for fewer sets. And it allows for a larger cast.

Most of the organization’s members liked the way the format worked last summer.

“They liked it a lot because it gave more people an opportunity to have more lead roles,” Klopp said.

But the format involves more work for the director, Klopp said, referring to herself.

“I had to come up with a creative way to make all the songs come together in a way that they flow,” Klopp explained.

“This Just In…” has two TV news anchors, portrayed by Cathy Filkill and Joe Coone, report on news and events from throughout the years by highlighting scenes from 16 different musicals.

FOX 8 News reporter Todd Meany, a Fairview Park resident, helped Klopp write the anchors’ lines. Meany’s wife, Joy, is the musical’s stage manager. Their two children, Dylan and Max, perform in the show.

Klopp’s daughter Sarah is in charge of choreography for “This Just In….” The 2008 Fairview High School graduate is minoring in dance and music at Brigham Young University.

The musical includes songs from “Bye Bye Birdie,” “West Side Story” and “Peter Pan.”

Performances will take place at the auditorium of Fairview Park High School, 4507 W. 213th Street, at 7:30 p.m. Thursday, 7:30 p.m. Friday, and 2 and 7:30 p.m. Saturday. Tickets at the door will cost $6 for students 18 and under and senior citizens 65 and up, and $8 for all others. Tickets can also be purchased online at the organization’s website (http://www.fpfata.org) and at PJ’s Day Spa, 20400 Lorain Road. Tickets purchased in advance receive a $1 discount.

 

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