Shelbyville Daily Union

March 11, 2014

SHS Dessert Theater Dazzles


SHELBYVILLE, IL. — Review by John Carswell

For the Daily Union

From the opening number to the closing farewell, “Let Them Eat Cake”, was an ultra- sweet treat, performed Friday and Saturday night by the Shelbyville High School Fine Arts department. 

However, it was a bittersweet moment for seniors enjoying their last Dessert Theater performance and especially for choir and vocal music teacher Patty Finks, who will be retiring at the end of the year after 35 years at SHS. 

Finks remarked, “This was my last Dessert Theater. In 1992 it began as dinner theater, but through the years it evolved into Dessert Theater. I was very proud for this to be my last Dessert Theater because of the kind of students I get to work with. They have great work ethics and great talent and are amazing young people. I have been blessed over the years to have had the opportunity to work with so many great kids and their parents.” 

Under the choreography and costume design of Jessica Knearem, every skit was a hit, beginning with “Seize the Day”, a kickoff number featuring a cast of 1890’s newsboys portraying part of the musical drama, Newsies. 

“I See the Light” was a touching and convincing romantic duet performed by the talented duo of Hannah Apple and Daniel Ferguson who showcased their vocal expertise.

An ensemble of nine giddy ‘flappers’ squealed and giggled to “A Bushel and a Peck (and a hug around the neck). Solo by Hannah Shuff was the cat’s meow. Brooke Cieplik, Mary Katherine Carswell, Caylee Wheeler, Savannah Jent-Martz, Carissa Jennings, Monica Griesemer, Kati Honigman and Cailin Wilson tap danced and entertained. 

Sisters Maggy and Molly Yockey squared off against each other in “What is this Feeling?” from the musical Wicked, a spinoff on The Wizard of Oz, which explains how Galinda (Molly) became the Good Witch of the North and Elphaba (Maggy) became the Wicked Witch of the West. In this number, the two opposites express their utter loathing for each other. 

A group of lovelorn cowboys performed Wagon Wheel, a song about a lonely drifter’s trek from New England to Raleigh, NC to be reunited with his girlfriend. Levi Call, Daniel Ferguson, Raymond Niemerg, Keiffer Johnson, Drennian Martin and Dalton Smith provided the vocals and Tim Jesgarz accompanied on guitar. 

A group of feral jungle women captured and added explorer Hannah Apple to their number in “Roar”. Wild things included Alex Anderson, Jessie Denning, Brittany Thompson, Helen Niermerg, Hannah Shuff and Molly Yockey. 

Levi Call and Monica Griesemer treated the audience by singing, “Almost is never Enough”, a bittersweet anthem about two people in love who never actually professed their love to each other. 

The Jazz Ensemble rocked musical arrangements by SHS band director Andrew Baldwin, “Tenor Madness” and “Royals”. Band members included Erik Bowers, Mikayla Fultz, Trevor Hendryx, Kaitlin Hopper, David Isaacs, Tayler Schanks, Tyler Schanks, Nick Shaw, Kelsey Toland and Jessica Tice. 

“Just the way you Are” featured the vocal talents of Monica Griesemer, Carissa Jennings, Anne Jesgarz, Kelsey White Alexis Woods and Maggy Yockey. Featured soloists were Kelsey Toland, Courtney Large and Josie Dial. 

Dial’s powerful vocals showed their true range in “Home Sweet Home” by Motley Crue. Dial sang and played piano to an impressive and polished interpretive dance performed by Brooke Ceiplik. Many cheers on this one. 

For a change of pace, the SHS Jazz Choir crooned to Billy Joel’s “New York State of Mind”. Vocalists Hannah Apple, Levi Call, Monica Griesemer, Daniel Ferguson, Anne Jesgarz, Tim Jesgarz, Drennian Martin and Molly Yockey took the audience “on a Greyhound down the Hudson River Line.”

No one will forget the optical antics of All That Jazz, a sight gag accomplished by sharing costumes half white, half black. Talk about seamless panty hose. The group of nine dancers had to perform as one unit, with each dancer sharing a leg of her outfit with her next partner, creating a hilarious result. Caylee Wheeler, Calin Wilson, Alexis Woods, Maggy Yockey, Savannah Jent-Martz, Mary Katherine Carswell, Brooke Cieplik, Kati Honigman and Kary Langan were a big hit. 

The entire cast went footloose in the wrap-up number, “Lean on Me” by Bill Withers. It was a grand farewell with some very creative individual dance moves. The audience ate it up... like cake. 

Musical accompaniment was provided by Parry Finks, Kevin Herron and Thom Schafer; make-up by Jade Gee, Rylee Elzer, Robin Apple, Jennifer Miller, Amanda Martz, Shyan Davis, Holli Boarman and Wendy Yockey; concept, costumes and choreography by Jessica Knearem; Planning Committee consisted of Patty Finks, Wendy Griesemer and Jessica Knearem; spotlight operators were Amber Brooks and Alason Lenz; sound and lighting by Steve Tankersly, Connor Russell and Michael Beardsley; flyers and programs by Josh Maxwell, Drennian Martin and Wendy Griesemer; Master of Ceremonies- Jim Finks. Thanks also go to Carol Compton, Patty Tynan, Just-a-Stitch, Shelbyville Daily Union, Shelby County News. net, Fox Redi-Mix and Annie Reid.