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D91 musical back for 40th production after COVID-19 pause

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IDAHO FALLS, Idaho (KIFI) - There will be no lonesome polecats when Idaho Falls District 91 puts on its district-wide musical this year. For the 40th production, they will be performing Seven Brides for Seven Brothers. The show opens Friday April 8 at Compass Academy.

Everyone involved in the musical is happy to be back on stage after last year's program was canceled due to the COVID-19 pandemic. It also affected their 2020 production of Beauty and the Beast.

The Coronavirus was just emerging in the area at the time. After months of hard work, they only got to perform the show once for cameras to be recorded. There was no live audience.

"It definitely wasn't the same." Jeffrey Wright is playing Adam in Seven Brides for Seven Brothers. He was a part of that show in 2020. "We tried our best to make that feeling the same, like the show itself. It was still a good performance. You could tell it just felt different to us."

Saige Whiting, who is playing Millie in this year's show, was also on the cast for Beauty and the Beast. "It was really disappointing to just put in so much work and make such a good performance and then just have it all taken away at the at the last minute."

"There were a lot of tears," says Idaho Falls District 91 Music Department Manager Sharon Cole. "I honestly would never want to go through that again."

The first district-wide musical was Hello, Dolly! back in 1981. Now they are back celebrating their 40th production. A milestone coming a year late because of the pandemic.

"I'm really excited to have this be the first one for two years." Wright added, "I'm honored and excited to be the lead for that."

Whiting is also happy to be back on stage. "It was something that I didn't realize I would miss until I couldn't do it."

Cole says Seven Brides for Seven Brothers was a great choice for this year's musical.

"Seven Brides for Seven Brothers has a lot of leads in it, and so we try to get a musical that can give as many students speaking parts that we can."

She added that "Lonesome Polecat" is her favorite number in the show. Now that the crowds will be back in the seats, the performers won't be lonesome this year. There will be plenty of friends there to hear their tune.

The musical runs April 8, 9, 11, and 12 at 7 pm at Compass Academy. Tickets are $7 each and can be purchased at the Idaho Falls District 91 office on John Adams Parkway next to Ravsten Stadium.

Article Topic Follows: Idaho Falls

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Dylan Carder

Dylan is a morning news anchor for Local News 8.


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