EASTON, Conn. – Seventh- and eighth-graders at Helen Keller Middle School in Easton are rehearsing “A Knighttime Musical,” an original production written by director Diana Canova and Kathy Weiss, a Redding teacher, with performances set for Feb. 8 and 9.
The show is based on "The Twelve Dancing Princesses," a Brothers Grimm fairy tale, with dialogue written by Canova and original music by Canova and Weiss.
“It’s one of the Canova Castle Comedies,” Canova said. She and Weiss have also written musical comedies based on "Alice in Wonderland," "Cinderella," "Jack and the Beanstalk" and an African folk tale that have been performed at John Read Middle School in Redding.
This is the first performance at Helen Keller Middle School. “It’s a wonderful cast of kids,” Canova said. “Each is talented musically and theatrically. They’re a joy to work with, and it’s fun working with a new crop of kids.”
Anne Sarnelli, a Joel Barlow High School junior, is the choreographer. “A lot of the kids can dance and all want to learn,” she said. “It’s exciting to see them smile and ready to learn.”
The cast of 39 students includes Olivia Chioffi, who plays the youngest princess, and Tim Tamallana, the Old Soldier. Both are in eighth grade.
“It’s really funny, I like the humor,” Olivia said.
“It’s fun, energetic and great to work with Diana,” Tim said. “It’s great to experience what it’s like to be in an actual show, and it’s fun being with my friends.”
“A Knighttime Musical” will be performed at 7 p.m. Feb. 8 and 9 and at 2 p.m. Feb. 9. Tickets cost $15 and available online and at the door.