‘Yes, Virginia: the Musical’ set for November 28

The Weiser High School Musical class, directed by Mike Turner, will present a winter musical “Yes, Virginia.” 
 Performances will be Monday, Nov. 28, Wednesday, Nov. 30, and Saturday Dec. 3. This one hour musical starts at 7 p.m., with doors opening at 6:30 p.m. Tickets are $6 for all ages and can be purchased both online on the WHS website and in person at the door. 
 “Yes, Virginia: The Musical” is based on the letter that was written by 8-year-old, Virginia O’Hanlon, to The New York Sun in 1897. The letter was answered by an editor, Francis Pharcellus Church, whose reply ran as an editorial under the headline “Is There a Santa Claus?” The editorial, which came to be known as “Yes, Virginia, there is a Santa Claus,” has been reprinted innumerable times. 
 Turner shared that part of why the class is performing “Yes Virginia: The Musical” is because it is such a wonderful story. 
 “I love how they were able to build such a fun story around the letter written by Virginia O’Hanlon in 1897 to The New York Sun, and the famous response by Francis Church. A letter that I feel still rings true today,” Turner said.
 The play also has just a little bit of that stage “magic” in the storytelling. The audience is introduced to Santas from all over the world, magical librarians, singing and dancing pigeons, a mysterious bearded gentleman, a snotty nine-and-a-half year old, and many more entertaining characters. The music in “Yes Virginia” is also memorable and really gives the performers a chance to shine. The finale is heartwarming and the whole show is just the perfect way to kick off the Christmas season.
 To add to the magic of the season for the younger viewers, the Weiser performances will also feature a “Santa Mail” mailbox near the ticket table until 6:50 p.m. the evenings of the performances for any of the younger kids to deposit their letters to Santa, if they feel the desire.
 Audiences are sure to be entertained by the performances of Mollie Price as Virginia and Whitney Turner as her nemesis, Charlotte as well as Hannah Pomo as the wise and magical Miriam the librarian and Mason Brush as the loveable Ollie, who are both doing an amazing job. 
 Elias Anderson, who really captures the fun and wit of Scraggly Santa and Rian Yamaguchi, in his first musical at the high school, has really found his voice as Frank Church, the “crusty” editor of The New York Sun newspaper. Lucy Chandler plays Ms. Whiskers and Etienne Pomo is the Jolly Gentleman.
 They are joined by a cast of 38 students which include singing and dancing pigeons, an assortment of newsies, Santas from around the world, and the good citizens of 1897 New York City. 
 Turner shared that being able to have the musical theater class has given Weiser High School a chance to enhance the theater program. The students have a chance to work on just about all aspects of performing and technical theater. 
 “I’m really proud of how far our cast and crew have come this semester. A special shout out to our tech crew, Alexi Kaprielian and Cambria Maldonado, whose work with the lighting and sound has been just fantastic in their first semester.”  


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