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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

The Raise The Roof Concert, held at Christ Church on Nov. 9, was an intergenerational event to benefit the Life Enrichment Center of Oyster Bay’s seniors.

Board member Suzanne Paolucci explained the center’s wish to get iPods for the seniors as a source of musical therapy. She brought the idea to the center from a talk by social worker Dan Cohen, the founder of Music & Memory. He has produced a film, Alive Inside, that tells the story of music as being restorative. Music is like therapy for the elderly, in particular for those with dementia, as it has been shown to awaken memories of happier times in life, when energy and enthusiasm were boundless.

Driving rain and an early start time did not deter 600 people who arrived at Crest Hollow Country Club recently to celebrate the Women’s Fund of Long Island’s 20th year and to honor four exceptional women.

The breakfast started with a meet and greet and a chance to showcase Women’s Fund contest winner Patti Hogarty, designer of “Women as Bamboo.” Inspired by her neighbor’s bamboo, she entered the contest drawing a design of the bamboo, which Ambalu Jewelers of Roslyn then turned into various pendants of which 40-percent of the profits would go to WFLI. Hogarty wrote a short essay comparing women to bamboo in that they are strong and can weather difficult storms, yet remain graceful and continue to grow sending out new shoots.


Sports

On the weekend of Nov. 8, the Oyster Bay High School Boys and Girls Cross Country teams traveled to the State University of New York at Canton just a few miles from the Canadian border to compete in the New York State Cross Country Championships.

Alex Tosi became the first Bayman since Joe Jazwinski and Justin Nakrin (2008) to become All-State, placing 16th with a time of 16:53. Most runners ran about 20 seconds slower than their Bethpage times because of the muddy conditions on the course. Tosi’s time was basically equivalent to his best Bethpage time, as he powered through the toughest parts of the race. He led the Baymen to a seventh place finish in the Class C race, an improvement from their 11th place finish last year, which ties the highest place at the New York State Championships of a Baymen team since 2009.

In the history of Oyster Bay High School athletics, no one has ever won a Girls’ Tennis New York State Championship. Celeste Matute and Courtney Kowalsky became the first when they won the 2014 New York State Doubles Championship in Latham on Nov. 3. What makes this tremendous achievement even more remarkable is that Matute is a junior and Kowalsky is a sophomore.

The girls, who are usually singles players, teamed up to take on the very best players in Nassau County and New York State. They won all 10 matches in the section XIII and NYSPHSAA tournaments and left Latham as the 2014 New York State doubles champions.


Calendar

Annual Turkey Trot

Thursday, Nov. 27

Turkey Detox Workshop

Friday, Nov. 28

East Norwich Holiday

Sunday, Nov. 30



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