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Joseph And His Amazing Technicolor Castmates

In celebration of Arts Week, Friends Academy middle schoolers put on a tremendous production of Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat—despite a rehearsal schedule two weeks shorter than in most years.

Ellis Collier of Glen Cove, as an Elvis-inspired Pharaoh, was a crowd favorite.

Thespians and techies from the middle school were supported in this festive musical extravaganza by upper school mentors and parents as well as faculty. Band teacher Jesse Tennyson brought a smidge of gravitas in the paternal role of Jacob. From a semi-secret lair offstage, FA parent Eden White on piano led the musical team of James Liverani (bass), Sam Towse (drums), Sara Alt (percussion) and Ray Matuzza (guitar).

But the kids were the stars. The three graceful narrators (Helena Ware, Sarah Weiner and Ife Anyokou) opened the show. Then Jacob, Joseph and all the also-ran brothers appeared. In short order, Joseph—played by Drew Donner of Old Westbury—got his fancy-shmancy coat and got sold to a trio of too-cool-for-school shepherds—Danny Dacosta, Joseph Lostritto and Miles Miller (who did double duty as jailers).

A detour through the home of Egyptian multimillionaire Potiphar and prison eventually lands Joseph in the Pharaoh’s palace, interpreting dreams for the troubled prince, an Elvis-inspired rock’n’roll ruler played by Glen Cove’s Ellis Collier. His brothers, starving, come to Egypt for food, where they must “Grovel, Grovel, Grovel,” unaware that their benefactor is their brother. A spurious accusation against the youngest brother, Benjamin (Glen Head’s Billy Duke), segues into a delightful calypso number (featuring Margaux Blau of Locust Valley), and Joseph and his brothers are reconciled, leading to a joyous finale.

The theatrical production was the cornerstone of Arts Week, during which middle schoolers are exempt from regular classes in favor of intensive, hands-on arts study under the direction of local artists. Some students took on creative printmaking with Allison Doherty; others tried pinhole photography with George Ensinger or woodworking with Marc Isaacs. Two courses tapped the power of digital tools: iPad Band and iPad Filmmaking. Kinetic arts were explored in African Drumming and Dance with Yahaya Kamate, an improvisation class led by Kristi Artinian, and a hip hop class with Camille Edwards.

It was a perfect send-off to spring break week, giving all the artists a chance at some well-deserved R&R.

News

Despite the national media attention about Ebola in recent weeks, there is one virus that is actually affecting Long Islanders, Enterovirus D68 (EV-D68), with one of the first cases identified in North Hempstead on Sept. 18 and a recent case on Oct. 15 in Suffolk County, which school officials called for the closing of school, as a health precaution.

Dr. Charles Schleien, chairman of the department of pediatrics at Cohen Children’s Medical Center, said that although the enterovirus is still active, cases are dwindling on Long Island. According to Schleien, approximately 500 cases have been reported this season of enterovirus, at Cohen’s Children Medical Center, with two to six patients being admitted per day.

Matt Bentz, of Forest Hills, was the winner of the Oyster Festival Raffle that took place as the event ended at 6 p.m. Sunday, Oct. 19. He had a choice between winning a 2015 Chrysler 200 three-year lease or $15,000 in cash. He chose the cash. He is the “Perfect Oyster Festival Raffle winner.”

Bentz is a computer systems administrator with Spa Creek Software, a company that writes software for other software developers, and has been to the festival numerous times over the years; in fact, next year he is hoping to sail here on his 24 ft. sailboat. He got it “reasonably” from a friend who was buying up.


Sports

The autumn varsity sports season is well on its way in Oyster Bay. Many young athletes have distinguished themselves. Several fine young athletes excelled right out of the gate and were chosen by the Oyster Bay Hight School coaches as Athletes of the Month for October 2014.

Cross Country Coach Kevin Cotter has athletes who consistently qualify for the states. Picking one to honor is a difficult task. Within this impressive group of talented athletes, one stands out: junior Alex Tosi, who recently broke the 17 minute barrier for a 5K course at Bethpage State park with a time of 16:52. This feat has not been accomplished since 2008.

5- and 6-year-old Peanuts

The Little Generals (Peanuts) stepped out into the cold Sunday morning ready to give the home crowd a show as they battled the Bellmore Braves, and that’s just what they did as the Generals beat the Braves 14-7. The teams battled to a first half tie as the Generals’ touchdown came on a 26-yard run by Kody Gehnrich, thanks to great blocks by John (Jack) Grace and Jack Symanski.

In the second half, where the Generals are usually at their best, the defense shut out the Braves as Rodney Hill, Jr. and Brandon Babel stepped in on the defense line to create a great push to allow Francesco Allocca to make eight tackles. The offense got a big boost with Allocca being allowed to play RB after playing QB the past two games, and boy did he respond behind great lead blocking from Luca Granito. Allocca carried the ball nine times for 60 yards and a TD coming on the last play of the game.


Calendar

Boys & Girls Club Gala

Thursday, October 23

Halloween Party

Saturday, October 25

Property Tax Exemptions Workshop

Tuesday, October 28



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