High schoolers present Broadway Showcase Friday

Lake Placid Middle/High School music teacher Taylor Prosper coaches ninth grader Johnylin Corrow through her solo, “Colors of the Wind” from “Pocahontas.” (News photo — Sydney Emerson)

LAKE PLACID — Lake Placid High School students will take the stage for their fourth annual Broadway Showcase at 6 p.m. Friday, Sept. 29.

The event features selections from the movies “La La Land” and “Pocahontas” and the musicals “Tick, Tick … Boom!” and “You’re a Good Man, Charlie Brown.”

“It’s like a toned-down musical,” junior Lexi Coffin said. “You take a bunch of different musicals, about three or four, and a few songs from each musical, and you just choose different people to perform them.”

Lake Placid Middle/High School music teacher Taylor Prosper spearheaded the event in the spring of 2021 when, due to the coronavirus pandemic, students could not perform their annual musical. Six feet apart and masked, students performed selections from Broadway shows. The event was so popular that it has returned every year since, Prosper said.

Prosper chooses the music every year, though Coffin said students “try to influence” his selections. He assigns numbers to students who have signed up based on their interests and talents and sometimes to get them out of their comfort zone.

More than 20 students are performing in this year’s Broadway Showcase. Pictured is the ensemble singing “Sunday” from “Tick, Tick ... Boom!” (News photo — Sydney Emerson)

“I’m kind of just the DJ,” Prosper said. “I want them to enjoy it.”

He lets the students take the lead during the showcase, adding their own flair and choreography to numbers.

“I’m able to sit back and watch the work that they’ve put in,” Prosper said, adding that the showcase is a “display” of students’ talent.

The performance is one of many fundraisers for the music department’s trip to New York City to see a Broadway musical. This trip is slated to happen every four years, giving high school students the chance to travel to Manhattan with their friends. Last year, Lake Placid high schoolers saw a performance of “Aladdin” and then participated in stage combat and choreography workshops with industry professionals.

Last year’s trip was planned and funded in a little under a year. Students participated in fundraisers to put toward their tickets. The remaining balance came out of pocket for students. According to Coffin, there were multiple students who were able to fund their entire trip through fundraising, and most others had significantly reduced costs from their fundraising efforts.

Parker Scanio, left, and Emma Wylie, both juniors, perform “Therapy” from the musical “Tick, Tick ... Boom!” (News photo — Sydney Emerson)

Prosper hopes that, given more time to fundraise and plan, future trips will be even more enriching for students, with multiple Broadway shows and learning opportunities on offer. He said that the showcase is one of the biggest annual fundraising efforts for both the music department and the New York trip.

The performance is also an opportunity for newcomers to get involved in music and theater without committing to an entire play or musical. This was the case for senior Jesse Marshall, whose first onstage outing was at last year’s showcase.

“I was introduced to the Broadway Showcase last year,” Marshall said. “My sister’s friends dragged me into it. They were like, ‘You look like you want to do this.” So I did it. It was a lot of fun. And then this year, I’ve dived right in. I’ve joined chorus, ensemble. The showcase, I have a solo for. … And then I’m doing the play and probably the musical.”

Marshall will be performing a solo — “Why” from “Tick, Tick … Boom!” — and Coffin will be performing “Another Day of Sun” from “La La Land” with fellow student performers Norah Galvin and Emma Wylie. The song features a dance break in the middle, which they choreographed themselves.

“I choreographed a little bit last year when we did ‘Hairspray’ and it was really fun,” Coffin said. “Dancing and singing with my friends onstage is really fun.”

“Probably my least favorite part is the dancing,” Marshall said.

Tickets for the show are $5 and can be purchased at the door. At 4:30 p.m., the music department will host a spaghetti dinner fundraiser in the school cafeteria, and tickets are $10.

Starting at $1.44/week.

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