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Holladay Journal

Cottonwood theatre season to open with Broadway revue, melodrama this fall

Oct 01, 2022 07:59PM ● By Julie Slama

By Julie Slama | [email protected]

This month, Cottonwood High students will step on their stage not to perform a fall musical, but rather to open their theatre season with a Broadway revue and melodrama.

The production, which will be at 7 p.m., Oct. 3-7, will begin with an old-fashioned melodrama that will be performed in the school’s black box theatre as Act I, followed by the Broadway revue for Act II in the auditorium, 5715 S. 1300 East. Tickets, which are $8 and include both shows, are available at

The melodrama, “You Can’t Stamp Out Love,” was selected for its concept.

“The oldest type of theater harkens back to those vaudeville days of classic heroes and classic villains, and love and mischief,” theatre director Adam Wilkins said. “What’s great about it is it just pushes up the level so our villains are extra villainous, our heroes are extra heroic. The love, it takes place in a hotel where there are so much fun quirky characters roaming around, and the set is going to be fun. It’s full of love and joy, and it’s just a good way to start the year.”

While he expects about 20 students to perform the melodrama, the Broadway revue will attract more students.

“We’ll be able to cast a lot of our kids in these two shows, which is wonderful, as it will give more students opportunities to perform,” Wilkins said.

The melodrama will be directed by the improv team captains and seniors Trinity Medina and Conrad Carter.

“They really know what it takes to make comedy great comedy,” Wilkins said. “They’re able to work with people and are really good at getting the cast to become better. So, we’re really excited.”

The Broadway revue is called, “How to Make a Musical” and the storyline is about a group of friends deciding to write their own musical. It was created by drama coach Madison Howell.

“She incorporates a variety of singers that perform different songs from different genres that are threaded by a simple story. The songs just stand out in this show; there are some classical songs all the way up to modern musicals,” Wilkins said.

Show pieces come from “Sound of Music,” “Something Rotten,” “Once,” West Side Story,” “A Chorus Line,” “Cats” and other musicals.

Following these shows, students will create a spooky experience for Halloween-goers with their annual Haunted Hallway from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m., Oct. 21. Scary or not-so-scary tours will be $5 or food donations for the school’s pantry.

In January, students will attend workshops at the Utah Theater Association’s conference at Utah Valley University.

At the same time, at least 65 student-actors plus the pit orchestra and tech crew will be in rehearsals for “The Little Mermaid,” which they will perform at 7 p.m., Feb. 1-4, 2023 in their auditorium. There also will be a noon matinee on Saturday. Tickets are $10.

“I’m loving getting shows based on literature. It's a lot deeper than people give it credit for. I’m always about stories being the heart of what I do. I love the story of the little mermaid, of somebody who doesn't belong, of somebody who feels like she’s an outsider, who doesn't quite know where they belong, and then, that she’s willing to trade everything just to be a part of that world. I think that this is a telling story, which I love,” he said, admitting that he and Howell also are Disney fans. “And let's be honest, the music is amazing. The music itself is beautiful, fun, lively, diverse, has a wide range of different music styles. Yeah, it was an easy sell for me because I just love it so much.”

Wilkins expects the set to be memorable.

“I’m hoping to create is the two different worlds for the little mermaid, the sea and the land through the setting, lighting and perspective. I want to make them so different because I want to show she is searching for something different and that’s got to be important. My ultimate goal is to truly create an immersive under-the-sea environment and use all the space,” he said.

Amber Tuckness, who directs the pit orchestra, is excited for the musical to be performed in February.

“We are getting a new sound system at our school and it should be working by then, so it will really help our performances,” she said.

Following the musical, the Colts will put on William Shakespeare’s “King Lear” in March. Those dates are yet to be announced.

At the same time, they will be readying to perform their one-act play called “The Trench” at region and state competitions. The play, which was inspired by a true story, is about a miner who became entombed in a tunnel during World War I.

“It’s about a man’s story coming from despair to redemption, not only through acting, but through puppetry, lights and music. It’s incredible,” Wilkins said, adding that they will have a community performance in the spring of their competition pieces as well.

The year will conclude with “The Drowsy Chaperone” in May.

“‘The Drowsy Chaperone’ is a perfect message for theater-goers, for the many people who love musical theater, knowing the story, and understanding, it truly is what keeps him going. Our main character’s love of theater and art is his salvation. Art, theatre, music — it’s powerful knowing what art can do,” Wilkins said.

Intermixed in the shows will be performances from the 16-member improv team. The next show will be Nov. 18 and tickets for the black box theater performances will be $5.