Ophir and LPHS students to perform original musical

On the Saturday before the performance, students, parents and community volunteers were busy painting backdrops and building sets to the musical they wrote, produced, and will put on May 12 at the school gymnasium. With the help of music teacher Christian Gutierez and local musician John Zirkle, the students and teachers began work at the start of the semester in January, and their long hours and creative energy will be displayed during the 40 minute production.

Six middle school students, two high school students, and 13 students from the Ophir Singer’s Club spent an average of three days days a week during class, and the past two weeks spent every day rehearsing and building the set.

“For our inaugural music theater class, we wanted to dive head first and show the kids what music theater is all about,” said Zirkle, who will also lead the Big Sky Broadway summer camp at the end of June.

During the planning stages of the curriculum, “I called Christian, and said, ‘Why don’t we just write our own musical? Let’s do this all the way and make our own, full production,” said Zirkle.

The musical follows protagonist Jacques Bolognes, an eccentric Parisan sandwich maker, who wakes up every morning with the delusion that he is going to create the greatest sandwich of all time. One day, he stumbles across the greatest sandwich recipe ever. When he shows his creation to his landlords, Yvette and Cesar Holler, they steal the idea. Who gets credit for the greatest sandwich ever made? Come to the show to find out!

“The kids have been involved the entire time. It’s fun to see them so engaged.” said Gutierez. “At the end of a hard day, the kids power through, and nobody ever complained.”

Zirkle and Gutierez said the involvement of the community has been tremendous. Klaudia Kosiak, a local pianist, is providing the accompanyment, and other community members and parents donated paint, props and other items to transform the kid’s idea into a full performance.

Admission is free at the door. There will be a matinee for the school, and then doors open at 6:45 p.m. for the evening performance.

-A.D.