The Best of Broadway Brings Excitement Back to B.H.S. Theater


Lexie Meserve, Columnist

We all remember March of 2020. Halfway through the school year, just settling into our new schedules, the snow melting, and of course BHS’ performance of Footloose! News started circling about the infamous Coronavirus since about January, but it started becoming a real and scary reality in March once cases were reported in the New England area. Footloose cut it very close, with the lockdown happening just 3 days after it closed. And then there was nothing. For 2 years. 


“It was very scary,” Deb Lumbard, choreographer for Footloose said looking back on it. “Soul sucking and depressing, to suddenly shut down productions and have no control as to when I could start up again.” Deb also explains that since her job included everything to do theater and performance, there was no income. “And here we all are, 2 years later, just beginning to get back on our feet, slowly.” And on that note of getting back on our feet, there is news of a “highlight show” in the works. “Due to covid restrictions, a lack of time and a rebuilding year of the program we have decided not to do a standard ‘musical’,” Deb, now having directorship, reveals. “…we will be doing a musical ‘review’ called The Best of Broadway.” She reveals that this will include all the splendor of song and dance numbers, set pieces, costumes, etc. “The whole musical theatre experience.”


As for who’s going to be included in the show, the list is extensive. “We have freshmen through seniors… this year includes kids from lower grades, 4-8.” Deb informs. “It was so important to me to make sure our seniors got to perform in one last BHS show, having totally missed last year.” And it’s true, these seniors were sophomores when covid struck and shut everything down. 


Members of the BHS Thespian Troupe Vivi Cao and Andrew Marcotte were victims of this sudden cutoff. “…having to not go to school, having to not do any of my extra-curricular activities, it really sucked,” Andrew recalled. He remembered how close Footloose was to closing. “…we were able to get the show in. Which is good, but you know, I’m bummed out.” Vivi, however, had a different view of the situation: “I do regret the years that we missed for performances and stuff, but at the same time it gave me a break, a little bit,” Vivi puts it. “And to restart this year, it’s difficult but it’s refreshing too.” 


Both Vivi and Andrew have lots of confidence going into this new show, with high hopes for a good turnout. “…but I think the real hope is that it helps introduce new students to the musical program,” Andrew adds. With covid bringing everything down and many of the kids graduating this year, a few new recruits is understandably something to hope for. “I’m hoping it can introduce kids to a new hobby, and they help grow this program back to what it used to be.” 


Deb has put 30 years into this show, and all she shows is her utmost confidence in it. “Guaranteed the audience will be tapping their toes, singing and clapping along.” Even after the dramatic 2 year pause, the performers and everyone behind the scenes are right back at it, with enthusiasm that is sure to inspire many. “Whatever stereotypes people think of, it’s extremely enjoyable. Even if you don’t think you can sing, even if you don’t think you can act, just being there and meeting new people, learning something new, it’s something I think everybody should take advantage of,” Andrew states. “It’s a good experience, it’s a really good experience.” Vivi has the same sentiments. “Come see the show! It’s been more difficult than years prior as we try to get back on our feet, but we’ve worked hard,” she stresses. “I think it’ll be a good one.” 


The show premieres Friday, April 29th at 7:30 pm, and Saturday, April 30th at 2:00 (Matinee) and 7:30 (evening show). “It’s always exciting, live theatre,” Deb puts it. “You never know what could happen, and when something does, you carry on.”