‘Promedy’ promises lots of laughs

Photos by Milly Gonzalez Students rehearse for upcoming production of “Promedy.”
Photos by Milly Gonzalez
Students rehearse for upcoming production of “Promedy.”


What happens when a student government leader, theater geek, science whiz nerd, cheerleader, newspaper hound and football jocks, among others, get together to plan a prom?

Well, they come up with a theme and then romantic intangibles and intrigue enter into the equation and … you have “Promedy,” a comedy by Wade Bradford being presented by the Kearny High School Class of 2016 next weekend.

Performances, open to the general public, will be Friday, Dec. 4, and Saturday, Dec. 5, both at 7 p.m., in the high school auditorium. Tickets, available at the door only, are $5 for students and senior citizens and $7 for everyone else.

Proceeds help support the actual prom for this school year’s senior class to be held in June 2016.

First-time director Milly Gonzalez, a high school music teacher, said she’s thankful for the tons of support from both the adult technical advisers and from the 30 seniors involved in the production, behind and in front of the stage.

“It’s a group of great kids,” said Gonzalez, who added that everyone has cooperated by pulling together during the lengthy seven-week rehearsal period despite scheduling conflicts posed by their participation in other extra-curricular endeavors and study time.

“A lot of the students I really didn’t know well since I haven’t had them in class,” the director noted, “but the new people turned out to have great talent and have worked hard to bring out those skills. They have great heart.”

Gonzalez, who taught music at Garfield Elementary School before transferring to the high school in September, choreographed the annual KHS Drama Club spring musical for the past six years.

But any hesitation she might have felt about taking on a new challenge was quickly overcome with the aid of colleagues Don Bednarczyk, lighting and set designer; Edward Gargiulo, sound designer; Kathleen Astrella, business manager; Erin Donnelly, photographer; Joe Domalewski, program preparer; and Jessica Couto, senior class adviser.

“It’s been a pleasant and really rewarding experience,” she said.

Senior Hector Delacruz plays Tanner, the gridiron team captain who “has the hots” for the character of Lee, said the audience will find his character to be “a nice guy and a little bit of a softie.” This is Hector’s first high school stage production, although he played a hare in a sixth-grade production of “Alice in Wonderland.” Hector is a cater-waiter on weekends.

Corey Sawyer and Quan Kelly, who play football players Kyle and Kevin, respectively, are both – appropriately enough – student athletes. Corey pitches and plays centerfield for the Kardinals baseball team and Quan is the goalie for the hockey squad. Previously, Corey was Hercules as an eighth-grader at Lincoln School and Quan – drum line captain in the KHS marching band – did a lot of rapping as Sonny in the high school production of “In the Heights” last year.

When Melanie Hill, a Teen Drama veteran, showed up for auditions, she was freaked when she learned that the steady companion of Doris – the character she read for (and was cast as) – happened to be a boa constrictor. Her blood pressure leveled off after the director assured her that the boa was “fake.” Doris “is weird – she’s president of the school reptile club,” Melanie explained. She’s “treating the boa as a child or one of my best friends.”

Student body leader Beatrix is played by Kelly LeVan, who is seriously into music, as drum major of the KHS marching band, flute and piccolo player with the concert band and member of the K-Birds singing group. As for Beatrix, “she’s really loud, dorky and annoying. I’ve got to do a lot of loud squeaking and my voice cracks,” Kelly said. “I’ve channeled my inner geek to be the most nerdy student president I can imagine.”

Theater newcomer Lawrence Gongora aims to go for the laughs as the character of Dr. Funky, a singer, if he can get his dialogue down. “Remembering lines is really tough,” he confessed. Still, he’s already thinking about trying out for the spring musical, “Hairspray.”

Paul Bannon, whose short flick “The Case” won second place in the recent KHS Student-Made Film Festival, plays Chester, a socially backward science whiz. His character must be “enthusiastic” but also “a nerd.” Sounds like it will be tough to pull off but Paul insists it will “come naturally.”

And then there’s Carly Hull, who plays Stephanie, a reporter/ editor for the school paper. She has performed in each KHS musical for the past three years and has played flute in the marching band for four years. “Theater is my life,” Carly proclaimed. She’s also taking four honors classes this year. In the meantime, she is dedicating herself to the art of journalism. Her motivation? “Going around taking pictures and trying to get juicy stories is pretty cool,” she said.

And we can’t help but agree.

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