Move over, Meghan and Harry, there’s a new royal family in town, and it performed to full houses at John Read Middle School last week, A Knighttime Musical, the latest offering from the team of Diana Canova and Kathy Weiss, featured 50 student actors, four middle school musicians, 15 student crew members, and six returning Joel Barlow students. Weiss was joined in the orchestra pit by local musicians Dave Daignault and Amy and Elliot Cabot.
A Knighttime Musical tells the story of a King and Queen who are overrun with daughters who have been sneaking out of the house at night. Seventh grader Karl Morris played the Old Soldier who takes on the challenge of finding out what these rebellious princesses are up to. “I think people loved this play,” he said. “The choreography is abstract and the characters are very quirky and funny.”
Caden Caraluzzi, a sixth grader who played one of the courtiers, agreed. “The choreography in this play was very … energetic.”
Veteran John Read actor Thomas Denny was feeling a bit nostalgic this year, his fourth as a member of the John Read Players. “I’m definitely going to miss working with everyone here. Moving on to theater at Barlow, not everyone is going to get a part in the play. This might not be my last year helping with the play at JRMS. I might come back.”
Each year past members of the John Read Players assist Canova and Weiss as choreographers, stage managers, running crew, and musicians. For fifth grader Lucas Perales-Hudson, A Knighttime Musical was his first play. “I signed up just because I wanted to say that I was in a play, and it was even more fun than I was expecting.”
Fellow fifth grader Anna Renee Gormley agreed. “The most fun was being able to run through whole songs. I’ll definitely do it again next year.”
Playwright and director Diana Canova found rehearsals for A Knighttime Musical a delight. “I have so enjoyed working with these incredibly talented kids. They prove that silly comedy works at any age, and they can sing and dance, too.”