Two live performances are scheduled for Vicksburg – one with a story dealing with the darker side of humanity, the other playful and lighthearted. Both, however, are sure to entertain audiences.
At 6:30 p.m. on Thursday, April 21, the curtains will rise for Warren Central High School’s production of “The SpongeBob Musical.” The shows will continue at 7 p.m. on April 22 and at 2 p.m. and 7 p.m. on April 23 at the school, located at 1000 Highway 27.
The Vicksburg Theater Guild will kick off performances of William Shakespeare, “Macbeth” at 7:30 p.m. Friday, April 22 with performances to follow at 7:30 p.m. April 23 and 2:00 p.m. April 24 at the Parkside Playhouse Theater, 101 Iowa Boulevard.
Sarah Goss, who has directed many VTG productions, said it was hard to tackle a classic.
“This play required more homework for me and my cast than any play I’ve ever done,” she said. “We talked a lot about the fact that we don’t just recite poetry or prose; we are telling a real story.
Therefore, Goss said, the actors had to be very careful with their punctuation — “Pause when you’re supposed to, and voice infection is essential.” A question should look like a question.
Goss said she realized it would be difficult for her actors to play a part when they might not even know what they were talking about, so she provided them with modern language translations.
This way, Goss said, “They could have a clear understanding of what they were saying and doing in each scene.”
Goss said she had never thought of doing a classic before. It wasn’t until someone asked her to take on the project that she considered it.
“Someone asked me to consider directing Shakespeare. It’s a huge undertaking,” she said. “I hadn’t really thought about it before, but the more I thought about it, the more he idea appealed to me, I spent months researching before choosing a piece and I felt comfortable proposing it.
“Macbeth” is considered a tragedy, but Goss said there were comedic scenes.
“Macbeth focuses a lot on the supernatural. Witches are fantastic. The same goes for Hecate, the goddess. There’s also a very entertaining scene with the Porter,” Goss said. “It adds a nice touch of comedy in the middle of a very dark story.
“The whole piece is really mesmerizing,” she added. “Watching Macbeth go mad is quite horrifying. Realizing that Macbeth isn’t really the villain in the story is eye-opening.
In a different theatrical genre, “The SpongeBob Musical”, presented in agreement with Concord Theatricals, is an extension of the popular animated television series “SpongeBob SquarePants”, which first aired in 1999.
“It’s a really fun production. It’s based on the TV show ‘SpongeBob SquarePants’, but it’s a whole new story written just for the musical,” said producer and production musical director Eric Johnson. .
Those familiar with “SpongeBob SquarePants,” Johnson said, will be able to see all the familiar characters from the TV production.
However, he said, the musical “is not trying to be the show”.
“It’s its own thing and it’s something that I think kids will enjoy and for adults who have never watched the show, I think they will enjoy it as well,” Johnson said.
The musical score, in Johnson’s opinion, is one of the highlights of the show.
“There’s not a single song in this production that I get tired of. I think there are productions that you listen to, and you’re like, ‘This song is boring, it’s not my favorite,’ but all this music is good,” he said.
The musical’s original songs were written by artists including Yolanda Adams, Steven Tyler & Joe Perry of Aerosmith, Sara Bareilles, Jonathan Coulton, Alexander Ebert of Edward Sharpe & The Magnetic Zeros, The Flaming Lips, Lady A , Cyndi Lauper, John Legend, Panic! At the Disco, Plain White T’s, They Might Be Giants and TI, and songs by David Bowie, Tom Kenny and Andy Paley.
The local production of “The SpongeBob Musical” has a cast of 40 with 25 crew members. The students, Johnson said, began rehearsals in early December.
Tickets for “The SpongeBob Musical” are $10 and $5 for ages 9 and under and are on sale at www.showtix4u.com/event-details/63907 or at the door. Johnson encouraged customers to buy tickets early.
Tickets for “Macbeth” are $15, $10 for ages 65 and older and 12-18, and $8 for ages 11 and under and are available at the door. “Macbeth” is part of VTG’s regular membership season.
About Terri Cowart Frazier
Terri Frazier was born in Cleveland. Soon after, the family moved to Vicksburg. She is a part-time reporter for the Vicksburg Post and editor of Vicksburg Living Magazine, which was awarded first place by the Mississippi Press Association. She was also the recipient of a first place award in the editorial division of the MPA’s Better Newspaper Contest for “Best Feature Article”.
Terri is a graduate of Warren Central High School and Mississippi State University where she earned a bachelor’s degree in communications with a major in public relations.
Before coming to work at the Post just over 10 years ago, she freelanced at the Jackson Free Press. But for most of her life, she enjoyed being a full-time stay-at-home mom.
Terri is a member of Crawford Street United Methodist Church. She is a life member of the Vicksburg Junior Auxiliary and was a member of the Sampler Antique Club and the Town and Country Garden Club. She is married to Dr. Walter Frazier.
“Whether it’s staying informed about local government issues or hearing the stories of local residents, a local newspaper is vital to a community. I have felt privileged to be part of a dedicated team at the Post throughout my tenure and hope that with theirs and with local support, I can continue to grow and hone my skills while helping to share the stories in Vicksburg. When people ask me what I love most about my job, my answer is always “the people”.
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