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WCS's musical Evita prompts tears, acclaim

The principal actors had hundreds of lines, enough to wear their voices out after performances and marathon rehearsals. Corriveau said she and others swigged vinegar and salt-water to keep their voices from giving out.

"This show demanded so much from all of us," she said.

Corriveau said that the live mini-orchestra her father hired - including some of the best musicians from Albany to Plattsburgh - inspired all onstage to do their very finest.

"With the romantic, live music, you felt the emotions so much more powerfully," she said.

The production was demanding, as the students spent the 10 days before the show practicing five hours daily after school.

Diane Newell coordinated and procured the costumes, which included an authentic Argentine military cap and various things she procured off E-Bay.

Jim Corriveau deigned the sets, which were impressive. Complete with a set of stairs and three balconies, they were built by Scott Thomas and drama club parents, and painted by students.

Regina Porter, who's attended dozens of Broadway productions over six decades, said the students' production of Evita was "phenomenal."

She burst into tears after the curtain fell on Thursday's performance, and she immediately bought a ticket to see the next night's show.

"I was overwhelmed at the performances Jim Corriveau was able to get out of the kids - it was compelling acting, solid singing, and excellent dramatic timing," she said, adding that Marissa Perrone's dance elegy was "outstanding."

"For a small school to produce something like this is truly incredible," she said.

Jim Corriveau said the crew had aimed to evoke such emotion from the audience.

"Those tears in the audience mean we did our job," he said. "The kids caught fire and stepped up to the challenge of playing demanding roles they were not accustomed to - portraying people from another culture," he said.

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