By MIKE CHAIKEN
The big night is drawing closer for the annual OM variety show, this year dubbed “Wish Upon A Star.”
On Sundays until opening, cast members—young and old—are at the Bristol Boys and Girls Club Family Center, being shaped into a lean mean entertaining machine for audiences filing into the auditorium at St. Paul Catholic High School.
Allen Stone is back in a creative driver’s seat as the show’s artistic director this year after serving a few years in a more administrative role with the annual event.
This year’s show takes a turn to the Disney, with a soundtrack culled from the best songs from the Disney movie canon.
“I have an amazing team working with me on this show, starting with my assistant director and newest OM, Wayne Morgan,” said Stone. “Wayne has been doing all of the graphics for the show since I directed my first show in 2011. He is super organized and has created many new ways of producing the show that has brought us more up to date.”
“Sally Kish is our music director,” said Stone. “She is always a pleasure to work with, so talented and always gets the most beautiful sound out of the choruses.”
“I have four fabulous choreographers— Misty Massotti, Lisa Santiago, and Kimberly Alvarado, who have been around this show for so many years, as well as a first time choreographer, Katie Rizner who I hope will return for many future shows. They have all brought so much to the show, each of them working on multiple numbers,” said Stone.
“We also have so many volunteers working with us on all other aspects of the show,” said Stone. “Connie Shultz is our stage manager and costume manager. There is a team of folks who volunteered to sew costumes and make props, Christine Yuschak, Rick Boufard, Lisa Levesque to name a few.”
“And, of course I can’t forget to recognize all of the Older Members and the Women’s Keystone Auxiliary who are doing so much behind the scenes,” said Stone. “Dan Newton is the show chairman this year and he has had a lot of support from fellow officers, John Mazzone and Todd Smith. Our current OM president, Don Coombs and our technical director, Joe D’Addese and other OMs have been working hard on building sets to have them ready to move to the stage on April 13.”
Rehearsals, as noted, are well under way for the OM show and Stone has had time to assess the talent the cast brings to the table.
“All of the kids in the show have added a lot of energy to the rehearsal rooms,” said Stone. “I love that we have a mix of talented kids from all the high schools in the area and that we have added all those teens to the adult chorus. I love that we have a huge production number for the opening of the show that combines students from multiple dance studios around town. The best part of the entire show is that it is a show with a cast of all ages from kindergarteners to adults who all come together for 16 weeks to prepare for the show, not only to have fun but to lend their talent to support a great cause.”
This time around, Stone also finds himself back at the ground level with the creative aspect of the OM show.
“I was the director of the OM Show for 2011, 2012, and 2013 and I was the show chairman / producer and vice president for 2014 and 2015,” said Stone. “The past two years I was the president of the OMs but sat on the show committee and was active in the cast of both 2016 and 2017.”
“After stepping down from being the OM president, I was excited that the OMs made me the artistic director for the organization,” said Stone.
“As great as it was to produce two shows and run the organization for two years, directing is my niche. Theater is what I love. It’s what I am passionate about. I absolutely love being able to create a show based around a theme and see it come to life on stage. I love encouraging others to use their talents and inspire kids to love to perform on stage,” said Stone.
“My hope is that we have a nice full house to perform to at St. Paul High School…. Hopefully the Bristol community will continue to support this great cause for many years to come. All of our efforts are to benefit the Bristol Boys and Girls Club and the nationally recognized programs they have to offer to the kids in our community.
“Wish Upon A Star,” the annual OM variety show, will be held Friday, April 20 and Saturday, April 21 at 7:30 p.m. There will be a Saturday matinee at 1:30 p.m. All performances are at St. Paul Catholic High School, 1001 Stafford Ave., Bristol.
Tickets are $20 for reserved seat and $15 for general admission. Tickets are available at the front desk at the Bristol Boys and Girls Club Family, 255 West St., Bristol or online at tututix.com.
For more information, call (860) 583-4734.