Manhattanville students traded in several weeks of their winter break to participate in the College’s Spring Musical “The Boy Friend.”
Rehearsals began on January 6 and ran eight hours a day, six days a week, similar to a professional schedule, Director and Artist-in-Residence for Musical Theatre Mark Cherry said. Participating in the spring musical requires a lot of discipline to rehearse almost every day and often helps students decide whether or not they really want to get into the business, he said.
“It gives them a really good taste of what it is like to be in the theater professionally,” Cherry said adding that the schedule is a lot more intense than for other productions at the College.
Also, helping the students prepare for the professional world is Bonnie Walker, a Broadway veteran whose credits include “Gypsy,” “Cabaret” and “Cats,” who is serving as the show’s choreographer. According to Cherry, she holds the students to the same high standards as she does professional performers.
“It has been a challenge for them, but they are having a great time doing it,” the director said of the students.
“The Boy Friend,” written by Sandy Wilson is a light-hearted spoof of 1920s musical comedies, in particular Rodgers and Hart’s “The Girl Friend.” It also introduced Julie Andrews to American audiences when it came to Broadway in 1954.
Cherry describes Manhattanville’s adaption of the Wilson classic as “a delightful show featuring fresh and very talented performers.”
Mark Cherry has been teaching at the College since 1996, and in addition to his course load he also directs the Quintessentials, the College’s pop vocal group, and regularly serves as stage and music director for the musical productions. His professional credits include stage and musically directing “An Evening with Brett Somers,” which he also co-wrote with Somers, and the Musical Director for the original New York production of “Nunsense.”
“The Boyfriend,” will run from January 30 to February 1 with shows at 8 p.m. and close with a matinee performance at 2 p.m. on February 2. All performances will take place in the Little Theatre in Brownson Hall at Manhattanville College, 2900 Purchase St., Purchase, N.Y., 10577.
Tickets are $10 for the general public or $5 with a Manhattanville Student I.D.