Va­ri­ety show’s 20th an­niver­sary all about “Legacy”

Cedar­town High’s stu­dent-led show com­ing up this Fri­day and Satur­day

The Standard Journal - - FRONT PAGE - By Kevin Myrick [email protected]­stan­dard­jour­

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.”

/ con­trib­uted

Pro­duc­ers for the 2019 CHS Va­ri­ety Show — cel­e­brat­ing its 20th year — gath­ered for a photo to­gether ahead of their fort­com­ing per­for­mances ti­tled “Legacy.”

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