“This is the third time we have presented it,” said stage manager Dori Matkowski of Dance Dynamics in Walled Lake. “We were the first high school that premiered the show as soon as it was released off Broadway 15 years ago. It’s an amazing story and beautiful musical.”
The presentation, which began with shows last week and will continue on Friday, Nov. 16 through Sunday, Nov. 18, includes a cast of more than 75 people, including Walled Lake Western students, choirs from several area elementary schools, and dancers from throughout the lakes area. The show includes performances and a set that rivals many professional theater settings, including flying ghosts, a revolving stage, and a sound system that includes two dozen wireless microphones.
“A Walled Lake Western musical is always beyond amazing, and this one is really up there,” Matkowski said. “The technical elements have been really challenging.”
Nearly 15 years since it was first performed at the school, the musical now includes several high school students who were elementary school cast members when it was presented in the past.
“I played Scrooge at (age) 12 in ensemble, and this is my eighth musical here at Walled Lake Western,” said Cameron Sirian, a freshman. “I was part of ‘A Christmas Carol’ four years ago as part of the kids’ cast. It’s a lot different because when you are a kid, you screw around a lot more in the dressing room. When you are in high school, you take it a lot more seriously.”
Walled Lake Western music teacher Greg Cleveland, who is the director of the show, said the goal is to present the musical every three to five years.
“We are excited because we amped up all the technology and brought it up to 2012 now … We call it ‘A Christmas Carol,’ a show that you know so well, but told in a way that you will never believe.”
Because of the range of cast members and the size of the production, the show brings together entire families, such as that of Abbey Scheidler, a senior at Walled Lake Western.
Scheidler, who is playing the Ghost of Christmas Present, is joined on stage by her sister and 10-year-old brother, who plays the roll of Tiny Tim. Additionally, her father is helping run the rigging to fly the ghosts during the show. Her mother also helped co-create the show and create the costumes for the show.
Cast member Emma Murphy, a freshman at Western, was in the children’s cast in previous years. Her sister is in the show this year, while her mother is one of the make-up artists.
“It is really nice having your family there to help and support you along the way,” she said.
Showtimes on Nov. 16-18 are at 7:30 p.m., and also at 2 p.m. for a Saturday matinee. For more information, call 248-956-4400 or visit www.wlwmusical.com or www.wlcstickets.com online.