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March 3, 2018 - 9:36am

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Interview with BHS Drama Director Caryn Wood.

"Into the Woods" is a musical comedy written by Stephen Sondheim, (from Wikipedia). This show takes many well-known Grimm Brothers fairy tales and combines them in an interwoven masterpiece.

The blissful serenity quickly unravels however, as the result of a giant run amok in the kingdom. Sondheim is known for his difficult yet emotionally charged music and lyrics; the cast has worked tremendously hard to bring this challenging story to life.

There are 50+ students in the cast, crew, and orchestra combined with 30+ adult directors and staff and volunteers.

Auditions were held back in November. Casting is always a difficult process because we want to make sure you have considered all of the options. People think you can just choose the person who sings the best, but in reality, you have to take many things into consideration when casting a high school production.

You not only have to consider how well a certain individual will handle the difficult music, but also what their characterization abilities are, and how will that person plays off another person. Casting a show is like writing a composition, it's a process that Musical Director Dan Grillo and I take very seriously.

One of the best things about "Into the Woods" and also a big reason why we chose this show has to do with it being an ensemble cast. There aren’t one or two specific leads, but rather a group of people whom the audience follows as the story unfolds.

These characters include The Baker and his wife, played by senior Evan Bellavia and junior Eryn Dunn; you see their relationship on display and their need to undo a curse put on them by a witch -- a key role played by senior Madison Hoerbelt. Others include Cinderella, played by senior Madeline Keenan; Jack, played by junior Sam Rigerman; Jack's Mothe,r played by senior Parise Ricks; and Little Red Riding Hood, played by freshman Kathryn Fitzpatrick.

There are many other recognizable characters as well including Rapunzel, the Wicked Stepmother and Cinderella's stepsisters. We've also added Grimm fairytale characters like the Three Little Pigs, Rumpelstiltskin, the Princess and the Frog, Hansel and Gretel.

Overall, the cast really embraced this show and dug right in working on the difficult music when we started rehearsals back in December. There are great themes woven throughout the show also; sometimes what you wish for the most, doesn't turn out as planned; the love of family and despite their faults, and many others.

One of my favorite moments is when the Baker's Wife realizes that her humble marriage to the Baker is more important than all her fantasies during the song "Moments in the Woods."

With all of the characters there is more to them than meets the eye. A line from the show about this says, "witches can be right, giants can be good."

Watching all of the characters evolve through the plot turns and twists may not be portend the traditional "storybook" happily-ever-after ending you might expect. Yet, in the end everything is tidied up.

Two shows remain this weekend: tonight at 7:30 p.m. and tomorrow at 2 p.m.  Tickets can be purchased at the door or Roxy’s Music Store in Batavia.

To view or purchase photos click here.

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July 8, 2017 - 8:05am

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Rochester native Lou Gramm packed in a large crowd of fans in Western New York at Batavia Downs racetrack last evening. 

On this warm summer night people gathered all around the local area to hear “Lou Gramm the Original Voice of Foreigner” and his band play classic hits like, "Cold as Ice," "Double Vision," "Midnight Blue" and "Juke Box Hero," plus many more from his days with his former band Foreigner.

Fans were singing from their lawn chairs, dancing on the lawn and jamming out those classic revival tunes from many years since the 1970s to now.

This was the fourth outdoor summer concert part of Batavia Downs concert series with two remaining, Marshall Tucker band next Friday, July 14th, and Lee Greenwood on July 21st.

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March 24, 2017 - 7:30am

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Batavia High School hosted the district’s annual Music in our Schools Concert last evening.  

Students from Jackson Elementary, John Kennedy Intermediate, Batavia Middle and High School, performed a collection of songs in honor of Mr. Jeff Langdon. 

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Music Department Director Jane Haggett and Principal Paul Kessler gathered student musicians in honor of Mr. Jeff Langdon’s dedication, devotion and years of teaching music at John Kennedy Intermediate school to perform a collection of songs demonstrating his contributions to their musical development. 

For more pictures go to: Steve Ognibene Photography

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January 14, 2017 - 8:45pm

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Batavia chiroprator Tom Mazurkiewicz, in plaid shirt, is pictured above next to national recording artist Joey Belladonna (far left), former lead singer of Anthrax. Belladonna is playing at 10 tonight at T.F. Brown's, 214 Main St., Batavia, with his cover band Big Chief Way.

Also pictured next to Mazurkiewicz is Dave Mickelson, bass player, and Joe Precourt (far right), lead guitarist. They were having dinner this evening at Yume Bistro in Batavia.

Mazurkiewicz says his friendship with Belladonna started 15 years ago when he was working backstage at Darien Lake Performing Arts Center, and Belladonna, a five-time Grammy Award nominee, needed a chiropractic adjustment. The two guys became friends instantly and regularly meet for dinner or attend local sporting events in Western New York, such as Buffalo Bills and Buffalo Sabres games.

Belladonna says he enjoys making stops in Batavia to play and visit with friends.

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September 21, 2015 - 3:39pm
posted by Cathy DeBellis in concert, live music, performance.
Event Date and Time: 
October 3, 2015 - 7:30pm to 9:00pm
Kazzrie Jaxen Quartet Friday, October 2nd, 2015 at 7:30 p.m. The Kazzrie Jaxen Quartet brings together the elemental qualities of four creative jazz musicians: the buoyant lighter-than-air swing of Bill Chattin’s drums; the earthy melodic pulsations of Don Messina’s bass; the oceanic depth of Charley Krachy’s tenor; and the fiery adventurousness of Kazzrie Jaxen’s piano.
April 20, 2015 - 5:24pm

Batavia Players just finished their third production this year directed by Anthony Giambrone. This past weekend, five performances were held at the Harvester 56 theater. Each performance had five sections of range from different types of broadway theater.  

We have a family friendly show, "Annie," that will make your heart melt when hearing the song "Tomorrow." Then we have a wild story of "Kinky Boots" where the challenge of singing modern pop music and still try to get the message across to the audience.  

"Wicked" has a reputation of being a showstopper and the cast had to live up to that. A challenge of women in "Leading Ladies" had a task of singing five different songs from five different musicals and had to find a way to make them flow together nicely.

The last section, "Hairspray," proved to be the largest section for both cast and director and it was the longest section in the show that called for the most dancing. The directing and choreographing of this show took a bit of extra time needed but was aimed to have the audience leave with smiling faces.

Batavia Players next show is "Xanadu" and runs from May 14-16th. For more upcoming events go to: http://www.bataviaplayers.org/

January 6, 2014 - 9:06am
posted by Cathy DeBellis in music, concert.music, local artist, performance, Gospel, Pastor.
Event Date and Time: 
January 31, 2014 - 7:30pm to 9:00pm

Local Buffalo Pastor and Gospel artist De'juaine G. Motley, known in music as D'Mott, will share an evening of R&B, contemporary and soul inspired Gospel music.  For more information visit www.dmottmusic.com or www.genesee.edu/campuslife/arts.  Tickets:  Adults $8, Seniors(55+), Students, & GCC Faculty and Staff $5, GCC Students with ID $3.  For tickets email [email protected] or call (585)345-6814. 

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