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Local theatre group underwrites school musical

PERU - Adirondack Regional Theatre, a long-established community theater group, is making sure the students of Peru Central School have something to sing about this spring.

The nonprofit organization is supplying the financial resources and the theatrical expertise to help Peru produce the classic '50s-themed musical "Grease." The musical will be performed in the newly-remodeled Peru High School auditorium and mark the first all-student musical performed by Peru Music Theatre. The show will be the first for many of the 31 students and for directors Meghan Matthews - a fourth grade teacher at Peru Intermediate School - and Christopher Urban -the choral director at Peru Middle and High School.

The directors were so impressed by the talent at the auditions that several of the parts have been doubled cast allowing even more students to be in the spotlight and garner the applause.

"This is the first show I've directed, and I've learned a great deal," said Matthews. "I've spent time in all elements of putting this production together but most rewarding for me, has been working with the students. The entire Peru community is proud."

Peru Music Theatre has produced shows with students and community members since 1993. However, this year, "Greased Lightning," "Summer Nights," "We Go Together," and the other memorable songs of Grease will be performed exclusively by the students of Peru Middle and High schools.

Adirondack Regional Theatre - which has been performing in the North Country since 2001 with more than 16 musicals - agreed to underwrite the expense of the show since the district did not have funds to allocate to the project. For ART president Tom Lavin "to be able to enrich the lives of these 31 students not to mention the faculty members who are directing is an experience ART could not pass up."

"The financial risks pale in comparison to what a show such as Grease can bring to the students, staff, school and the community," said Lavin.

The show will be performed at 7:30 p.m. Friday, March 11, and Saturday, March 12. A special 2 p.m. performance will be held Sunday, March 13. Peru High School is located at 17 School St.

General admission will be $10m with senior citizens and students admitted for $8. Tickets for the show are available at the door and at Peru Health Mart and the North Country Cultural Center for the Arts.

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