Tag Archives: Tucker DeBolt

Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat on the Kaneland Auditorium stage

KANELAND—The Kaneland Community Fine Arts Festival (KCFAF) will present its summer 2013 production of Andrew Lloyd Webber and Tim Rice’s iconic musical “Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat.”

The Biblical saga of Joseph and his coat of many colors comes to vibrant life in this delightful musical parable. Set to a cornucopia of musical styles, from country-western and calypso to bubble-gum pop and rock ‘n’ roll, this Old Testament tale emerges both timely and timeless. This production will take place in the Kaneland High School Auditorium the weekends of July 12-14 and July 19-21, with performances at 7 p.m. on Friday and Saturday, and 2 p.m. on Sunday. Tickets are $10 for adults, $8 for students/senior citizens, and $25 for a Family Ticket, which admits all family members currently living in one household. Preschoolers attend free of charge. Tickets are now on sale at www.kanelandartsfestival.org.

The KCFAF would like to congratulate the following cast members who will be on stage for the festival’s fourth annual summer theatre production: Teresa Arnold, Cornelius Marr, Steve Hommowun, Beth Hitzeroth McDonald, Robyn Lycan, Nicole DiSandro, Trisha Mills, Steven Mills, John Gibbas, Peter Lopatin, Paul Cepynsky, Tucker DeBolt, James Tockstein, Beau Ott, David Gotfryd, Ross Cortino, Ben Mitchinson, Dominic LaSalle, Mace Jendruczek, Alyssa Gibbas, Vivian Gibbas, Rebecca Hof, Alex Herbert, Katie Kenkel, Sydney Luse, Sally McClellan, Melanie Marr, Christine N. Stevens, Teresa Witt, Katelyn Blaszynski, Caitlin Carlson, Amanda Eckstrom, Ben Gibbas, Ethan Gibbas, Riley Gibbas, Allison Gotfryd, Abigail Heinicke, Paige Krueger, Lorelai Marr, Rohan Marr, Sabrina Massa, Libby Mattern, Betsy Mills, Natalie Mills, Ally Mitchinson, Jillian Mitchinson, Cyrena Pierce, Jade Sadowski, Erica Witt and Tim Gibbas.

KHS’ Worldwide Youth in Science, Engineering team headed to State

KANELAND—Kaneland High School’s Worldwide Youth in Science and Engineering (WYSE) team will head to state on Tuesday, April 9, at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.

The team’s run began in February, when it received first place in the regional hosted by Waubonsee Community College. The team then took second place in the Northern Illinois University sectional.

Sharon Beck has served as WYSE team advisor since 1997. This is the second time her team has qualified for State.

The WYSE team includes: Tucker DeBolt (English, math), Kate Dray (chemistry, English), Chris Farrell (physics, English), Sean Flamand (physics, English), Kerri Groen (math, biology), Nicole Hanlon (English, biology), James Lim (math, physics), Beau Ott (physics, English), Mary Piazza (biology, chemistry), Muneed Rehman (biology, chemistry), Nathaniel Snyder (math, biology), Ryan Straughn (math, chemistry), Jordan Thelander (math, chemistry) and Ethan Witt (math, physics).

Kaneland to perform ‘Les Miserables’

Photo: Cast members rehearse the “Innkeeper’s Song” from the Les Miserables School Edition. Directed by April Rames, performances will be Friday through Sunday, March 16, 17 and 18 in the Kaneland High School Auditorium. Photo Courtesy of April Rames

‘Les Miserables’
Performances are Friday, March 16 at 7 p.m.
Saturday, March 17, at 7 p.m.
and Sunday, March 18, at 2 p.m.
Kaneland High School Auditorium
46W326 Keslinger Road, Maple Park.
For tickets:
e-mail: KHSTIX@gmail.com
or visit www.kaneland.org/d302

by Lynn Meredith
KANELAND—Kaneland High School’s top-notch vocalists will get a chance to strut their stuff on March 16, 17 and 18 when the auditorium fills with the familiar sounds of the musical “Les Miserables.” A cast of 48 singers, orchestra of 15 musicians and tech crew of six will present the musical under the dramatic direction of April Rames, the vocal direction of Bryan Kunstman, the conducting of Aaron Puckett and the choreography of Paula Franz.

“We announced the show last May, and since then the students have been very excited,” Rames said. “We had a very strong turnout this year. It’s the first year we had to not cast some people. Usually we are looking for people.”

With 60 students vying for the singing roles, the competition was tough, but directors Kunstman and Rames knew they had a talented group of vocalists from which to choose. With a musical as challenging as “Les Mis” they needed to make sure they had the talent this all-sung musical would need. Even though the cast is evenly split between men’s and women’s roles, the show requires more male leads than usual and a strong male chorus.

“We don’t pre-cast, but we have to ask ourselves if we have enough men, if we have enough strong male singers,” Rames said. “We have six to seven large male roles, a strong male chorus of revolutionaries and a lot of featured solos who are not leads.”

Tucker DeBolt has been cast in the role of the redeemed petty thief Jean Valjean. The relentless Inspector Javert will be played by Eric Eichelberger. Maggie Wallace will take the stage as the tragic Fantine, while Anna Novotny acts as her daughter Cosette.

Inn keeper and thief Thenardier is played by Brian Edwards, with Kathryn Lanute as his unscrupulous wife Madame Thenardier and Jordyn Withey as their daughter Eponine. Jake Rosko and Alec Kovach have been cast as student revolutionaries Marius and Enjolras. Nearly 40 other students will also be on stage in various supporting roles and the chorus.

While this version is similar to the original productions in London and on Broadway, it is called the “School Edition.” The original production ran three hours, and the school edition runs two hours. The story is the same, but there may be fewer verses or featured solos. Nevertheless, the Kaneland vocalists are measuring up to the demands of the musical.

“The students are familiar with the show, so it’s come fairly easily to learn. There are some adaptations in vocal ranges, rhythms and emotional demands, but it’s not been that much of a stretch for the talented singers to glam onto,” Kunstman said. “We are blessed to have very talented students.”

Most of the students are in choir or have a love of singing. The musical is not quite an operetta, said Kunstman. It’s close to opera, but not in style. There is no spoken dialogue in the show. Instead, it features recitatives and arias with flourishes of runs and lines.

“It has musical theatre songs but borrows tools from opera,” Kunstman explained.

Like the original productions, Kaneland’s version will stick to a minimalist style in its sets and props. It won’t, however, have the signature revolving stage of the original set design because it would be cost prohibitive. Instead, Rames has had to be creative in making set changes while the action continues. With over 40 singers on stage at a time, she has had to plot out ahead of time the areas of the stage where everyone will be in a given scene.

“We are going to change the scene quietly on one part of the stage while someone is (acting) down stage, for example,” Rames said. “There are not a ton of props—guns and letters. We’ll use pantamine (of other props) to get the idea across.”

The set will have two small painted backdrops, platforms and suggestions of a garden or a city street by key set pieces. All Dressed Up, in Batavia, will provide many of the costumes, along with some from the theatre department’s own stock and some pulled together with the help of parent volunteers.

The cast is rehearsing five days a week putting music, action and choreographed movement together. The directors note that rehearsals have been running smoothly and that ticket sales are ahead of previous years. The appeal of a show that is familiar makes it enticing for students to become involved in and audiences to come to see, Kunstman said.

“It’s one of my favorite shows. The students are working very hard to make it a success,” he said.

School trip, jazz gig


Kaneland students Sam Kilgore, Tucker DeBolt and Alex Speckman talk to Orbert Davis about playing the trumpet during a Kaneland Jazz Band trip to the annual Evanston Jazz Festival on Feb. 11. At the gig, they played three songs: “Sassy,” “Harlem Nocturn” and “Heliopolis.” At the end of the day, they went and saw The Chicago Jazz Philharmonic Band. The band’s leader was Orbert Davis, a renowned trumpet player in Chicago.

Courtesy Photo

Cast announced for KHS performance of ‘Les Miserables’

KANELAND—Director April Rames has announced the cast for Kaneland High School’s performance of “Les Miserables School Edition.”

“Casting decisions were very tough this year as there are so many talented students,” Rames said.

Tucker DeBolt has been cast in the role of the redeemed petty thief Jean Valjean. The relentless Inspector Javert will be played by Eric Eichelberger. Maggie Wallace will take the stage as the tragic Fantine, while Anna Novotny acts as her daughter Cosette.

Inn keeper and thief Thenardier is played by Brian Edwards, with Kathryn Lanute as his unscrupulous wife Madame Thenardier and Jordyn Withey as their daughter Eponine. Jake Rosko and Alec Kovach have been cast as student revolutionaries Marius and Enjolras. Nearly 40 other students will also be on stage in various supporting roles and the chorus.

Performances will be at 7 p.m. on Friday, March 16, and Saturday, March 17, and at 2 p.m. on Sunday, March 18, in the Kaneland High School auditorium.

Choral Director Bryan Kunstman will work with all of the students as they develop their roles.

“They are a fantastic group of performers with wonderful voices. Many of them have earned statewide recognition for their singing, and I have no doubt they will do an outstanding job of bringing this beloved musical to the Kaneland stage,” he said.

Kaneland’s performance of “Les Miserables School Edition” is presented through special arrangement with Music Theatre International (MTI) and is being performed entirely by students.

For information or tickets, e-mail KHSTIX@gmail.com.