Variety show’s 20th anniversary all about “Legacy”
Cedartown High’s student-led show coming up this Friday and Saturday
When the Cedartown High School drama department began their annual variety show, Theater Director Chris Reaves thought it was only going to be a one-time thing way back in 1999. Just a fun show to put on for the community at the behest of his students.
“The title of the first variety show performance was the ‘Was Variety Show’,
because I never thought we were going to do it again,” he said. “The next year the students came back and asked to do it again, so I said to myself ‘I’ll do one more.’ and then one more turned into this.”
Two decades later, the annual Variety Show coming up this weekend is a full-on program that students compete to take part in, as well as a family tradition for several in the community.
So this weekend’s show titled “Legacy” looks to honor the long-running tradition of fun for all and bring back some alumni to take part as well.
“For me, this is one of those neat community events that started by accident, and now people know about it,” Reaves said. “I know people who will come out of town to come see our show every year.”
Showtimes are set for Friday night at 7 p.m., and again on Saturday at 7 p.m.
Tickets are $10 through Friday afternoon when Cedartown High closes and where tickets can be purchased ahead of time, or at the Cedartown Performing Arts Center box office for $12.
A reception by invite-only is planned for variety show producer alumni on Saturday, and those who have invitations will be provided with additional details about time and place.
Reaves said that this year’s performances promise to be some of the best yet.
“We don’t usually do skits or dances that I would consider above everyone’s heads. It’s for entertainment,” Reaves said. “This is about the opportunity to produce a show and enjoy what we provide.”
Cultural appropriation is part of the fun of the follies, and among the various ideas that students come up with for the show, Reaves said he must have seen hundreds of Saturday Night Live-themed skits with local twists over the years. One of his favorites over the years involved Matt Foster, who at the time he was a member of the producing cast played Sean Connery in a remake of the SNL “Jeopardy”-themed skit.
Alumni like Foster have gone on over the years to bigger things. He’s now the Chair of the Cedartown City Commission for the year, and in his second term. Other Variety Show producers Reaves put forth as an example are Edward and Oscar Guzman, both who work for the City of Cedartown in administrative roles.
Their sister Brisa is among the group of students producers this year.
“There are a couple of families in town where I have their fourth child involved in the show,” Reaves said. “They saw their big brother or big sister do it, and they decided that they wanted to follow in their footsteps too. So the name of this year’s show is “Legacy.” One reason is that we have these little groups of families involved throughout the years.”
This year’s producing team also includes Isaiah Beck, Karen Bermudez, Suzanne Ellis, Evie Drew Frasier, Caroline Gammage, Olivia Golden, Brady Guthrie, Curtis Lee, Kendall Lee, Molli Lemons, Cam Lorys, Emily McDonald, Joanna Newsome, Cole Parham, Omar Reyes, Alexsys South, Raegan Tanner, Asia Turner and Gabrielle Woodward.
The Variety Show will take on a whole new dimension in 2020, when students will be able to do more in their own space after construction work is completed on the high school’s new fine arts addition, which will include a theater and a lot more room for set design and construction. He added that the already-competitive program will get even more packed with different aspects of theater production with the expanded space and opportunities available, like letting students design their own lighting schemes for scenes.
So as the Variety Show celebrates this year, they also mark it as the final year they’ll perform within the Cedartown Performing Arts Center stage.
“With the coming of the theater next year, this show is really the perfect marriage for the program as a whole,” Reaves said. “It’s taken this many years to get set in motion, and now those kids will have their own space where I can really teach the technical side.”
Producers for the 2019 CHS Variety Show — celebrating its 20th year — gathered for a photo together ahead of their fortcoming performances titled “Legacy.”