Scioto Valley Local students in grades K-6 will present “Aladdin Jr.” in the old Piketon High School auditorium at 7 p.m. on Friday, Nov. 9, at 2 p.m. and 7 p.m. on Saturday, Nov. 10, and at 2 p.m. on Sunday, Nov. 11.
“We chose this show because it is the revised and updated version that is on Broadway right now with brand new characters and songs from the original version we produced as our first elementary production nine years ago. We wanted a new generation to get to know this beautiful show,” said Jessie Hablitzel, who, along with her husband, Chad, are directing the musical program at Piketon.
“My husband and I have been directing the musical program here at Piketon for the last 11 years. This is our 22nd show together,” Hablitzel said. “We have the help of several high school students every year, and this year we have two alumni back to help co-direct, Shayna Detillion and Alec Taylor, who have done a phenomenal job with teaching vocals and helping build sets.”
More than 85 students, grades K-6, from both Zahn’s Corner Middle School and Jasper Elementary School auditioned for the musical after Labor Day.
“The judging panel chose to keep 50 students this year in the cast,” Hablitzel said. “We are always wanting to use as many students as possible to help build the program.”
The number of student cast members involved in the musical this year presents a few challenges, according to Hablitzel.
“It’s a lot of extra time, effort and expense to put 50 kids in costume, (place them) on the stage, and feel like you have given them all they need to learn what musical is all about,” said Hablitzel.
Twenty-two of the cast members have never participated in a musical, Hablitzel said.
“It’s a challenging process, but the reward is a great show for all involved,” said Hablitzel. “The students not only learn how to sing, dance and act, they learn how to work together (and) meet a deadline, and that hard work pays off.’
Parental and family support is helpful in making a successful musical, Hablitzel said.
“They not only put up with our very trying schedule, but have made all the costumes and turbans, fed the kids, decorated the windows, sold ads, cleaned, helped backstage, run the ticket window, sell refreshments, and help every day to make our productions such a success,” Hablitzel said. “We have not only moms and dads helping out, we have aunts, uncles and grandparents going above and beyond making our musical so special.”
Members of the “Aladdin Jr.” Piketon musical cast include Hayden Klinker (Aladdin), Kyndall Carroll (Genie), Alex Vulgamore (Babkak), Klaira Napier (Omar), Noah Cooper (Kassim), Nina Rose (Iago), Tristen Boedicker (Razoul), Riley Wagner (Apple Vendor), Ava Ricer (Jasmine), Harrison Alexander (Jafar), Lexi Slone (Manal), Jayla Rigsby (Isir), Hannah Webster (Rajah), Keivan Tackett (Sultan), Konner Clemmons (Prince Abdullah), Shaelynn Tolliver (Fortune Teller), Tucker Gilbert (Guard #1), Luke Jordan (Guard #2), Warner Blanton (Guard #2), Caleb Tackett (Guard #2), Lilly Morgenson (Beggar), Audriana Kelley (Beggar) Kennadie Southworth (Beggar), Abby Kingrey (Prince’s Attendant), Grace Bigham (Prince’s Attendant), Ella Woolridge (Golden Girl), Marley Bentley (Golden Girl), Briar Penwell(Golden Girl), Ruby Davis (Golden Girl), Karlee Clemmons (Golden Girl), Larkin Vulgamore (Golden Girl), Brenlee Harris (Golden Girl), Ryanne Moore (Golden Girl), Kinley Brust (Junior Golden Girl), Karley Brust (Junior Golden Girl), Chelsea Byrd (Ensemble), Carter Smith (Ensemble), Abigail Acord (Ensemble), Emily Acord (Ensemble), Kenley Maynard (Ensemble), Aubree Elliott (Ensemble), Kaelyn Smith (Ensemble), Kaylee Pettitt (Ensemble), Madison Kingrey (Junior Ensemble), Atleigh Penwell (Junior Ensemble), Presley Bentley (Junior Ensemble), James Forbes (Junior Ensemble), Kase Gilbert (Junior Ensemble), Mattix Mosley (Junior Ensemble), and Cameron Tackett (Junior Ensemble).
“The show is beautiful. The cast and costumes are so colorful and realistic and we have a really neat animated backdrop as well. Plus, there’s a sword fight, a ‘flying’ carpet, great dance numbers and fantastic vocals,” Hablitzel said. “We are always excited to try new theatre tricks and techniques, and bring good quality productions to our local community.”
Cookies, popcorn and water will be available for purchase at the show. Tickets can be reserved until Nov. 7 by calling (740) 289-4117, and will also be available for purchase at the door.