KI High thes­pi­ans to present ‘Fools’

The Kent Island Bay Times - - Arts & Entertainment - By DOUG BISHOP dbishop@kibay­

STEVENSVILLE — Laugh­ter is said to be “good medicine.” Pre­pare for a heap­ing spoon­ful of “good medicine” at the Kent Is­land High School drama depart­ment’s pro­duc­tion of Neil Si­mon’s “Fools,” which opens at 7 p.m. Thurs­day, Oct. 4, in the school’s au­di­to­rium. The show runs for six per­for­mances, Oct. 4-6 and Oct. 12 and 13 all at 7 p.m., and a con­clud­ing mati­nee at 2 p.m. Sun­day, Oct. 14.

KI High’s drama depart­ment has es­tab­lished a stan­dard of ex­cel­lence un­der di­rec­tion of Kevin Rea­gan. He has been teach­ing at KI since 2008 and has grown the drama pro­gram and show­cased the tal­ents of many stu­dents.

This is the third time Rea­gan has done the play “Fools” at KIHS. It was his first play when he ar­rived, and later that year he pro­duced his first spring mu­si­cal, “42nd Street.” He waited five years be­fore hav­ing his stu­dents do “Fools” again, and now it has been an­other five years. Need­less to say, “Fools” is a Rea­gan fa­vorite. He said, “It’s a great show. It’s a fun show. Our stu­dents en­joy it.”

There are two casts that ro­tate with each per­for­mance date. Rea­gan has been blessed with an abun­dance of great tal­ent and con­tin­ues to share the wealth with all his stu­dents. Main char­ac­ter Leon Tolchin­sky is shared be­tween Christo­pher Guar­aldo (Blue Cast) and Braden An­drew (Sil­ver Cast). Many other stu­dents will im­press as they ful­fill their char­ac­ters in this play.

The cast, to­gether, were asked, “Why should the pub­lic come?” Col­lec­tively, they re­sponded: There’s a lot of creative hu­mor, em­pha­siz­ing the word creative. We’ve all taken each char­ac­ter to heart as our own, in­di­vid­u­ally. We all work well to­gether.

The late Neil Si­mon is con­sid­ered by many to be one of the best play­wright’s in the world. He re­ceived more Academy and Tony award nom­i­na­tions than any other writer, also re­ceiv­ing a Pulitzer Prize for “Lost in Yonkers.”

“Fools” orig­i­nally pre­miered on Broad­way in 1981. It’s the story of Leon Tolchin­sky land­ing what he thinks is a ter­rific job teach­ing in a Rus­sian ham­let. How­ever, af­ter he ar­rives, dis­cov­ers ev­ery­one in the vil­lage has been cursed for 200 years with Chronic Stu­pid­ity. No one tells him that if he stays over 24 hours and fails to break the curse, he too will be­come stupid. The sit­u­a­tion pro­vides for a quick-paced com­edy.

Ticket prices are $10 for adults, $8 for stu­dents, and can be pur­chased on­line with in­stant seat se­lec­tion through the KIHS web­site, or pur­chase them at the ticket of­fice inside the school prior to the show.


The cast of Kent Is­land High School’s Neil Si­mon’s comic fa­ble “Fools,” from the left, front row, Joey Per­ti­cone, Chris Guar­aldo, Karenna Fo­ley, Matthew Gar­vey, and Madi­son Ri­ley, back row, Kait­lyn Miller, McKenna Lev, Braden An­drew, Hanna Pe­turs­son, Caitlin Shaw, Lo­gan Don­nelly, Ash­lyn New­comer, and Seth McLaugh­lin. Per­for­mances be­gin Thurs­day even­ing, Oct. 4.

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