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RCS Drama Club brings down the house in ‘Sister Act’

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    Contributed photo The ensemble performs a number in "Sister Act."
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    Contributed photo The musical comedy brought down the house this weekend at RCS High School.
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    Contributed photo In the show "Sister Act," singer Deloris Van Cartier is sent in to witness protection at a convent.
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    Contributed photo Senior Winnie Civill portrays the lead part, Deloris Van Cartier.
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    Contributed photo "Sister Act" was filled with music, comedy and a talented cast of young performers from RCS High School.
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    Contributed photo When "Sister Act" was performed on Broadway, it was nominated for five Tony Awards, including Best Musical.
March 12, 2018 02:28 pm

RAVENA-COEYMANS-SELKIRK — The RCS Drama Club brought down the house this weekend as they performed the musical comedy “Sister Act.”

Co-directed by teachers Michelle McLoughlin and John Fatuzzo, the performance featured 36 cast members and 15 students in stage crew and performing in the pit orchestra.

Students and faculty have been working for months to put together the show, and it all seemed to come together in the final days, according to McLoughlin.

“When we put on costumes last week, that is what got them ready to go and they became their characters,” McLoughlin said of the young thespians. “It was our first dress rehearsal, and it went very well.”

Fatuzzo predicted before the performance weekend that the early and successful dress rehearsal boded well for the coming shows.

“When you can get a first rehearsal as good as that went, the show will be hilarious,” Fatuzzo said of the comedy. “They worked so hard. Since Day 1, it has been coming along. The pit sounds great, the lights and sound and stage crew have done an awesome job. No matter what kind of talent or ability you have — whether you are a musician or an actor or you work with your hands on sets — it brings everyone together. Every part of the community gets involved.”

As the performances approached, backstage actors tried on costumes and put finishing touches on their wardrobes. Lead actress Winnie Civill, who portrays the character Deloris Van Cartier, said everything was coming together in rehearsals.

“I am excited now that we are running the shows. It’s getting more solidified,” Civill said. “I don’t want to get too confident because that is when you make mistakes, but it feels good right now.”

Madealyn Frankovic, a senior who plays Sister Mary Robert in the show, was performing in her fourth RCS production. She said this year’s show is a different type of performance than last year, but she enjoyed both of them in their own ways.

“My first year I was in the ensemble and knew I wanted to continue and grow in Drama Club. I really enjoy it,” Frankovic sad. “Last year it was more of a dialogue-based show with deeper meaning. This one has that too, but there are also a lot of group members and I think people really like that. The ensemble is seen more and is more involved in the scenes.”

Senior Kale Gransbury is also in his fourth RCS production and said he has really enjoyed the experience of bringing live theater to the community.

“I love coming together as a whole group and performing it for people who might not otherwise be able to see a live show,” Gransbury said. “I like showing something to the community that is out of what normally goes on.”

Aydin White, a junior at RCS, portrayed Monsignor O’Hara in his third RCS production. His roles, he said, have gotten bigger from year to year as he gained experience.

“Freshman year I was in the ensemble. Last year I had one or two lines, and this year it’s a big change — it’s a much bigger role for me, with a lot more lines,” White said. “At first it was a little intimidating. Mr. Fatuzzo helped me learn my lines and now I can recite them in my sleep. Drama Club is my favorite activity — it’s the best thing I participate in.”

In addition to the 51 students who participated in the show in one way or another, Fatuzzo said there were parents, volunteers and alumni who also chipped in with talents of their own. And the local business community also helped out.

“We had a lot of financial support this year, with a lot of local businesses getting involved,” McLoughlin said. “That is also a tribute to the students — they and their parents went out and solicited donations.”

The Drama Club performed three shows this weekend — Friday and Saturday evening performances, and a Sunday matinee.