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Rehearsals Underway For ‘Rockin’ Midsummer Night,’ ‘101 Dalmatians’ Musicals

The 12.14 Foundation is well into rehearsals for two productions that will be presented at Newtown High School next month.

The world premiere of A Rockin’ Midsummer Night’s Dream is a new musical version of Shakespeare’s story adapted by Michael Unger and Eric Svejcar with a score by Mr Svejcar.

Joining a large cast of Newtown children in this production are Broadway stars Marla Mindelle (Rodgers and Hammerstein’s Cinderella, Sister Act), Clark Thorell (Hairspray, 2012 Annie revival) and Saum Eskandani (Disaster!, A Year With Frog and Toad).

The regional premiere of 101 Dalmatians: the Musical is the famed story by Dodie Smith, with a book by BT McNicholl (Cabaret) and a score by Dennis DeYoung (the lead singer/songwriter from the rock band Styx). It has been adapted specifically for Newtown by Michael Unger and Dennis DeYoung.

The production stars Kristine Zbornik (A Catered Affair on Broadway, Mamma Mia in Las Vegas) as Cruella and more than 100 Newtown children ages 4-13 as the Dalmatians.

The same production team that presented Seussical: The Musical last year has returned this summer: Michael Unger is direct, Jeffrey Saver is the musical director, with Newtown resident Brett Boles as his associate, and Jennifer Paulson Lee serving as choreographer. Van Dean is co-producer and Michael Baroody, MD, founder of The 12.14 Foundation, is the executive producer.

Approximately 20 Newtown students are apprenticing backstage to learn skills that include stage management, stage design and construction, lighting, and sound from the team of Broadway professionals participating in this production. The orchestra also includes Newtown-area parents and students.

The venue for both plays will be Newtown High School, 12 Berkshire Road.

A Rockin’ Midsummer Night’s Dream will be performed on Fridays, August 1 and 8, at 7 pm; Saturdays, August 2 and 9, at 2 and 7 pm; Sunday, August 3, at 2 pm; and Sunday, August 10, at 5 pm.

101 Dalmatians: the Musical will be performed on Wednesday and Thursday, August 6-7, at 7 pm; Friday, August 8, at 11 am; and Sunday, August 10, at noon.

Ticket prices range from $22.50 to $30; they can be ordered by calling 866-967-8167 (press 1) or online at 1214foundation.org.

Proceeds will support The 12.14 Foundation, a nonprofit organization formed following the tragedy at Sandy Hook Elementary School to encourage personal development through high-level performing arts programs. The foundation provides experiences that produce a long-lasting, positive affect on the way children see themselves and the world around them.

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