DYS to offer up ‘funny’ musical

It’s their fourth-annual production and has been deemed “the funniest” play students at Donald Young School in Emo have ever staged.
“It’s got a lot of old Hollywood humour—a lot of clichés,” explained director Katherine Williams of “Bugsy Malone,” a children’s gangster musical loosely based on events in Chicago during Prohibition.
“It makes it fun for the kids because they get to be goofy,” she remarked. “And the adults will love it because they’ll catch on to things the kids are saying that they aren’t sure of.”
Written by Alan Parker, with music and lyrics by Paul Williams, the show follows the rivalry between two gangs and a “washed up but well-meaning” boxer, Bugsy Malone.
Bugsy, who will be played by Conner Pocock, ends up taking control of Fat Sam’s (Sam Jackson) gang and helps defeat Dandy Dan (Maxwell Williams) and his gang.
The show originally was a 1976 movie starring Jodie Foster and Scott Baio—then 13 and 14 years old, respectively.
Katherine Williams also noted this is the first time DYS has taken on a true musical—a Broadway junior showpiece—as opposed to a play.
“The kids absolutely love it. The music is so catchy,” she said of musical numbers like “Fat Sam’s Grand Slam,” “Bad Guys,” and “You Give a Little Love.”
“There’s a lot of singing and dancing,” she added.
While most of the students will be doing their own solos, the chorus numbers will be sung along with a recording since they aren’t able to produce the harmonies needed.
“We have some very talented kids, which is why we were able to take on a higher level piece,” Williams remarked. “We could tackle it because they have the experience now.
“They’re professionals because some of them have been doing it for the past three years.”
With choreographed numbers by assistant Patty McNally, Williams noted the chorus girls have been rehearsing since November.
“They’ve been working so hard,” she stressed. “They’re really catching on. They’re even getting adventurous and taking on more.”
She said Parker’s intent was to have children play the roles in the show, which would tone down the subject matter.
“The kids get to be little adults,” she added. “They’re so excited.”
So instead of guns, the plot calls for “splurge guns” (or silly string) and “custard pies.”
And she added due to the content of the show, she had no problem getting many boys involved in the nearly 60-student cast, ranging from Grades 1-8.
“I feel music is important and I was looking for a musical way to bring music into the schools because sometimes I feel it is neglected,” Williams said.
She noted the parents and teachers also have gotten involved, creating a costume and props committee, as well as offering assistance with make-up and hair.
The show also will feature some special guest appearances by teachers and parents.
“I hope everyone comes out to support the school and to have a good time,” Williams said. “Come see what the kids have done.”
Some of the other characters include Fizzy (Isaac Firth), Blousey Brown (Kennedy Latimer), Tallulah (Carina Mack/Phoebe Firth), and Lena Marrelli (Krista Emond/Haley Trimble)—just to name a few.
And Williams indicated the show is right on track in the rehearsing schedule. “It just keeps getting better and better,” she added.
The musical will run Feb. 28-March 2 at 7 p.m. Tickets, available at the door, will cost $6 for adults and $3 for children.
In past years, DYS has staged “The Wizard of Oz,” “The Kids of Camelot,” and “Peter Pan.”