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Despite Sickness and Laryngitis, Attleboro Students Sing Their Hearts Out

Students overcome a rash of illnesses to put on their Spring Musical.

After Friday’s performance of “Once Upon A Mattress” more than a couple of the performers will likely be headed to their own mattresses as several members of the cast were sick, including some coming down with laryngitis.

As the saying goes, "the show must go on" and the students performed through their illness to entertain the crowd, according to Music Teacher and Vocal Director Gary Hyman.

“The kids wanted to do the show and they earned the right to perform,” said Peter Tarsi, the school’s drama coach and physics teacher.

“They did their best and I think they pulled it off very well,” Hyman said.

The show was a complicated production without the illness due the task of coordinating an orchestra, singing as well as acting.

“It’s a lot of planning,” said Hyman. As vocal director, Hyman began planning the performance with Tarsi this time last year and started auditions in December and rehearsal in January.

“The recipe we have that works is that I handle the music and instrumentation and Mr. Tarsi handles all the stage directions and acting lessons,” Hyman said. 

The musical, which is a comedic twist on the classic Princess and the Pea fairy tale, delivered laughs with its larger than life characters like the domineering Queen Aggravain, played by Tiffany McWilliams, and her mute husband, King Sextimus, played by Mike Pratt, who communicates with other characters through games of charades.

The titular princess, Princess Winnifred, was played by Michaela Bushey who brought laughs with her readily apparent gift for physical comedy as well as singing with her multiple vocal numbers.

For senior Jeremy Fodaski, the musical was a chance to play a more comedic role versus what he called his usual “serious or stuck-up” characters.

“I love playing this character,” Fodaski said.

As a senior this will also be Fodaski’s last show at Attleboro High, but he looks back on his time fondly.

“It’s been a great experience and a great four year run here,” Fodaski said.

The senior hopes to continue to pursue theatre at the University of Massachusetts-Amherst where he might study it as a second major, but will definitely be involved otherwise.

There will be a second performance of “Once Upon A Mattress” Saturday night at 7 p.m. in the high school auditorium.

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