Kindergarten performers took a packed house back to the 1950s with this year’s annual show, titled “At the Hop” and directed by lower school performing arts teacher Kellie Binney. Each member of the production assumed the identity of a ’50s archetype or celebrity for the show, portraying icons such as Elvis Presley (Ashwin Kuppahally), Ella Fitzgerald (Emi Fujimura) and Chuck Berry (Enzo Lucketti).
The students performed various hits from the ’50s on the Bucknall stage, including “Splish Splash” by Bobby Darin, “Donna” by Ritchie Valens, Presley’s “Hound Dog” and the show’s namesake, “At the Hop” by Danny and the Juniors. The teachers of each kindergarten class were also part of the show, introducing their respective classes with entertaining skits and even joining in on several numbers. Naturally, performers were decked out in a potpourri of period-appropriate attire, including leather jackets, jeans and poodle skirts, and the audience delighted in the students’ fun and inspired renditions of classic tunes, all done to energetic choreography by dance teacher Gail Palmer.
The show included a well-designed set that mimicked an authentic ’50s diner, courtesy of scenic artist Whitney Pintello, with props by the students of Danny Dunn’s middle school technical theater class. Grade 5 students Nikhil Dharmaraj and Ayush Pancholy constructed a jukebox that was a major feature of the scenery. Dunn, who also acted as technical director and designer, again brought along the students of her grade 5 technical theater class to act as the stage crew.