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MS Play Is More Than A Catchy Tune

Students at Hicksville Middle School have been working hard to prepare for their upcoming performance of Once Upon a Mattress, which debuts next weekend.

Once Upon a Mattress retells the story of The Princess and the Pea in musical form. The director in charge of the production, Thomas DePalo, works with the students to create a memorable performance not only for his students, but also for the audience.

“I want people to leave the theater saying, ‘that was a great show,’ not ‘that was a great middle school show,’” said DePalo.

Working alongside DePalo are musical directors Justin Starr and Laurie Haddock to help the students sing, dance, act and follow stage directions.

There are 90 students on the stage and 25 crew members that take care of the set, the light and the sound, according to DePalo.

Many of the students who are now eighth graders have been involved in the school play since sixth grade. “You see a huge development just in the way they will portray a character as they mature and get older,” said Starr.

“It’s amazing to see how they grow,” said DePalo. “It makes me feel proud being someone who has helped foster that.”

School principal Mara Jorisch sees the importance of musical theater and wants as many students to get involved as possible.

“You get to see them from all different backgrounds coming together on stage,” Jorisch said.

Students make their own posters for the play and publicize them around the building. “We hope to see more students come to watch the play and seek to get involved next year,” said Jorisch.

Seventh grader Krisia Romano is playing the lead character, Princess Winnifred, in the play. Romano, who has been singing since she was four -years-old, was involved in the play last year, but this is her first year in a lead role.

“I’ve learned a lot from working with Mr. DePalo,” she said. “He’s a really good director. Right now, I’m learning how to breathe to reach some notes in the songs.”

Alongside Romano as one of the lead characters in the play is seventh grader Viren Fernandes who plays the role of King Sextimus the Silent. This is his third year performing in a school play.

“Every year I get a different role and each role gives me a different opportunity to learn different things,” said Fernandes.

Fernandes has learned to have big movements and expressions from playing a character that communicates mostly nonverbally. “This year, the main thing that I’m practicing is my expressions since I don’t have my voice,” he said.

When it’s time for the performance, the students are usually facing a packed auditorium, according to Jorisch. “It’s an exciting time, because the play represents a lot of what middle school is, which is taking a chance, trying new things and setting goals,” she said.

The sixth, seventh, and eighth graders will be performing Once Upon a Mattress March 20, 21, and 22 at 7 p.m. at Hicksville Middle School.

News

Dance has a variety of benefits for children. Just like other sports like soccer, tennis or basketball, it promotes good health, emotional and mental stability.

The Dance Place in Hicksville is the brainchild of former dancer, Miana DeLucia. As a child, DeLucia found relief in her local dance studio. She says, “When I was young, my brother was very sick. I used to go to the studio just to get away. There, I found my passion and it became like a second home to me. It was my safe place.”

The community is invited to show off their Comets pride at Hicksville’s Homecoming Fair, which takes place Saturday, Sept. 13, starting at 10 a.m.

The festivities start at 10 a.m. at Hicksville High School’s John A. Walker Soccer Field. A number of fun activities will be featured, including attractions like a giant slide and an obstacle course, plus many game booths courtesy of the individual PTA units and school clubs. Lunch and snack items will be available for purchase.


Sports

At 6 a.m. on a blustery Saturday morning 1,600 people arrived at Theodore Roosevelt Memorial Park to participate in the 27th annual Runner’s Edge Tobay triathlon and tri- relay race. The participants were from all over Long Island, some from upstate NY, a few from out of state and were all ages and some even with disabilities but all came with one goal in mind, to finish.

The course starts out as a half mile swim in Oyster Bay Harbor, then a 9.3 mile bike ride through Oyster Bay, Laurel Hollow, and Cove neck which is very hilly but finishes with a 2.9 mile downhill to the finish. Then the riders have one more leg of the race which is 3.2 mile run through Mill Neck and Brookville, up to Planting Fields Arboretum and back down to Roosevelt Park to the finish line.

Second year head coach Rob Carroll is encouraged by what he has seen from the Hicksville Comets in the preseason. For this reason, he feels the team is better than their preseason ranking of No. 13.

“Last year was a tough year for us,” he said in regards to their 1-7 season. “But we improved as it went on and played in some very competitive games.”

The team ended a 15-game losing streak last season with a 26-19 victory over Uniondale.  They also were barely edged 20-14 by Hempstead on a last minute score. The rest of the games featured several lopsided scores, which is why Carroll believes the team is being overlooked.


Calendar

BOE Meeting

September 10

HHS Class of 1954 Reunion

September 12, 13

Cruizin’ For A Cure Car Show

September 14



Columns

1959: The Year The Music Stopped Playing
Written by Michael A. Miller, mmillercolumn@gmail.com

The Eccentric Heiress Of ‘Empty Mansions’
Written by Mike Barry, MFBarry@optonline.net

Yellow Margarine And A Pitch For The Ages
Written by Michael A. Miller, mmillercolumn@gmail.com