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Showboat

AUGUST 3, 4, 5, 10, 11, 12, 17, 18, 19, 1978
WAUWATOSA WEST HIGH SCHOOL

by Jerome Kern and Oscar Hammerstein II


Spanning the years from 1880 to 1927, this lyrical masterpiece concerns the lives, loves and heartbreaks of three generations of show folk on the Mississippi, in Chicago and on Broadway (and their life-long friends). The primary plot follows Magnolia, the naive daughter of the show boat captain, as she marries a gambler and moves with him to Chicago. His gambling continues as his debts compound, and soon he deserts her and their young daughter. A subplot concerns the potential arrest of Magnolia’s selfless best friend on charges of miscegenation when it’s discovered that she is mulatto, and her subsequent downward spiral into despair. The passing of time reunites Magnolia and her now-grown daughter with her family on the show boat as well as with her husband, who eventually returns offering a hopeful second chance at familial fulfillment.

 
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Mary, Mary

NOVEMBER 10, 11, 17, 18, 1978
HAWTHORNE JUNIOR HIGH SCHOOL

As Howard Taubman of the New York Times describes: “You will not be overwhelmed to discover that Mary is contrary and that her trouble is basic insecurity. Seems she had an older sister, a stunner. Oh, the traumatic effect on Mary! In high school she went out for the literary monthly instead of with boys. She learned to compensate for her drabness by being clever. When we meet her, she is as witty as—well, Jean Kerr. She appears at the apartment of her former husband, Bob, because his lawyer has summoned her to help with Bob’s sticky tax returns. Their marriage, it seems, foundered on the rocks of Mary’s unrelenting sense of humor. The moment she arrives she gives us some excellent samples of it. It takes Dirk Winston, a handsome film hero whose star is in decline, to understand Mary. Dirk makes her face up to her secret. He also kisses her and offers her the kind of adoration her practical and obtuse husband has been unable to manage. Just in time, Bob, who has been on the verge of marrying a rich, young health fiend named Tiffany Richards, realizes that he still needs Mary. It will not be killing any suspense to reveal that true love triumphs.”

 
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Night Watch

MARCH 2, 3, 9, 10, 1979
HAWTHORNE JUNIOR HIGH SCHOOL

BY LUCILE FLETCHER


Unable to sleep, Elaine Wheeler paces the living room of her Manhattan townhouse, troubled by unsettling memories and vague fears. Her husband tries to comfort her, but when he steps away for a moment Elaine screams as she sees (or believes she sees) the body of a dead man in the window across the way. The police are called, but find nothing except an empty chair. Elaine’s terror grows as shortly thereafter she sees still another body—this time a woman’s—but by now the police are skeptical and pay no heed to her frantic pleas. Her husband, claiming that Elaine may be on the verge of a breakdown, calls in a lady psychiatrist, who agrees with his suggestion that Elaine should commit herself to a sanitarium for treatment. From this point on, the plot moves quickly and grippingly as those involved—Elaine’s old friend and house guest Blanche; the inquisitive and rather sinister man who lives next door; and the nosy German maid Helga—all contribute to the deepening suspense and mystery of the play as it draws towards its riveting and chilling climax.

 
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It’s De-Lovely

APRIL 20TH, 21ST, 27TH AND 28TH, 1979
HAWTHORNE MIDDLE SCHOOL

BASED ON THE MUSIC OF COLE PORTER

WRITTEN BY DALE GUTZMAN

Tonight we celebrate the music and lyrics of Cole Porter.  Cole was much more than just a songwriter; he captured the life styles, views, troubles and whims of the people about whom he wrote. 

Success was never a problem for Cole.  If anything did depress him or hold him back, it was demand by the public for more charming list songs which obstructed his desire to write serious music.   In fact, if you examine every show that Cole wrote, you will find the list songs, but also, you will find a few attempts to stretch the musical spectrum.  He altered rhythms, created new rhyme schemes, extended the musical line and left us a legacy of his unparalleled hits in the history of composing.   

Cole suffered a tragic riding accident and was to spend the rest of his life in great pain.  This pain, too, he put into his songs.  We are still discovering today the complexities and depth of his work.   His last song was "Wouldn't It Be Fun Not to Be Famous". Throughout his life he sought to avoid the glare of the spotlight, but his genius demanded recognition, and we are ever grateful that it did.  Join u then, won't you, for the Cole Porter Revue ....... "It's De-lovely".