Arabian Nights Shine Bright at Leeds Theatre

Aladdin opens next weekend

GRC+students+in+Aladdin%2C+front+row+from+left%2C+Sarina+McQuerry%2C+Hannah+Christopher%2C+Ella+Cooper%2C+Addy+Reed%2C+Cassie+Shields.+Back+row+from+left%2C+Galen+Arnett%2C+Jacob+Wheeler%2C+Hallee+Cecil%2C+Destiny+Napier%2C+Andrew+Roberts
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Arabian Nights Shine Bright at Leeds Theatre

GRC students in Aladdin, front row from left, Sarina McQuerry, Hannah Christopher, Ella Cooper, Addy Reed, Cassie Shields. Back row from left, Galen Arnett, Jacob Wheeler, Hallee Cecil, Destiny Napier, Andrew Roberts

GRC students in Aladdin, front row from left, Sarina McQuerry, Hannah Christopher, Ella Cooper, Addy Reed, Cassie Shields. Back row from left, Galen Arnett, Jacob Wheeler, Hallee Cecil, Destiny Napier, Andrew Roberts

GRC students in Aladdin, front row from left, Sarina McQuerry, Hannah Christopher, Ella Cooper, Addy Reed, Cassie Shields. Back row from left, Galen Arnett, Jacob Wheeler, Hallee Cecil, Destiny Napier, Andrew Roberts

GRC students in Aladdin, front row from left, Sarina McQuerry, Hannah Christopher, Ella Cooper, Addy Reed, Cassie Shields. Back row from left, Galen Arnett, Jacob Wheeler, Hallee Cecil, Destiny Napier, Andrew Roberts


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By Emma Reece, Sadie Gayheart and Janna Beth Winburn
Journalism 2

As the audience settles down, the lights start to dim. Anticipation sinks in to the crowd and nerves rustle in the performers. The curtain sweeps across the stage as the orchestra sets the mood for Aladdin Jr.

The performers will make this experience a reality in early November at Leeds Theatre. Ten GRC students are part of the cast of nearly 70 people from five counties.

“It’s such a fun show,” said Cassie Shields. “There are a lot of different characters, it’s funny and it has great music. We have been working really hard on it.”

Indeed, such a demanding musical takes lots of effort and hard work to be ready for an audience.

“The hardest part is fitting all the pieces together with the costumes, set, the different actors playing different roles, and getting the stage chemistry to go together,” said junior Galen Arnett, who plays Aladdin. “It’s very difficult to put all those together without losing the individual.”

Freshman Ella Cooper landed the role of Jasmine. “I screamed and hopped out of the car screaming that I was a Disney princess,” she said.

Arnett had a celebration of his own. “I was ecstatic,” he said. “I was literally jumping up and down in my kitchen just so excited about the role. I’ve prepared a long time for a role like this.”

A big part of the show is the dance core, which works daily to give the songs an extra kick.

“We will be doing tap, jazz, a little ballet, and musical theater of course,” said Hannah Christopher, the captain of the dance core.

Addy Reed, another dancer in the show, said she can’t wait for showtime. “I’ve always had a love for the stage,” she said, “and the stage has just always felt like home.”

Leeds Center for the Arts will present Aladdin Jr. Nov. 9-11 and 16-18. Friday and Saturday shows are at 7:30 p.m. and Sunday shows are at 2:30 p.m. Ticket prices for children 12 and younger are $8. Seniors 65 and older are $12, and adults 13 and older are $15. Tickets may be ordered at www.leedscenter.org

Shields encourages everyone to come out and check out the show. “We love the chance to entertain people,” she said, “and to show everyone the great amount of talent we have in Winchester.”