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Murray Journal

Riverview Jr. High’s cast of ‘Aladdin Jr.’ ready to take to the stage

Feb 07, 2022 01:48PM ● By Victoria Wetzel

The Riverview Junior High cast of “Aladdin Jr.” practices their choreography. (Photo courtesy Victoria Wetzel)

By Victoria Wetzel | [email protected]

After having to cancel its musical two years ago, Riverview Jr. High School is ready to perform “Aladdin Jr.” 

“[‘Aladdin’] is a fun story with great characters. Most of these roles can be played by anyone, so there were no limits as to what we could do,” said Alexie Baugh, the director of “Aladdin Jr. This is not Baugh’s first time doing “Aladdin” since she costumed the show in a local production over the summer. “I love adding humor and watching the story come to life.” 

While putting together a school musical can be fun, and is a great way to make new friends, many people agree that it can also be hard. 

“The hardest thing about being in the musical is probably when the rehearsals are really long and tiring. But I get through them and it's usually pretty rewarding,” said Molly Bytheway, who plays Zaynab, one of Jasmine’s friends in the play. 

“Sometimes things get a little hectic on stage during our dance and it’s a lot to handle, especially when people don’t understand what’s going on,” said Maya Flores, a featured dancer and an ensemble member. 

For some cast members, this is their first time doing musical theater, for others, this is not their first taste of it. 

“I was a star-to-be in my school musical of ‘Annie Jr.’ and I was in the world premiere of ‘Behind the Bookstore’ at Murray High,” said Lucy Woodbury, who plays the role of The Genie.

For Baugh, this is not her first time directing a school musical. Baugh graduated with a degree in theatre teaching in 2006 and has been costuming, directing and choreographing ever since. 

“Learning a new school and all the who, what, where logistics has been a little tricky,” she said. “But having support from the parents and administration has helped a ton.”

Cast members all agree that there are some great aspects about doing a show. 

“[I love] the people and of course dancing and just like I love performing, it's so much fun,” said Maya.

Lucy agrees that performing for people is fun. “I love working with everybody. That has to be my favorite part because I love working with everybody, it's like a cast family, you know?”

Molly enjoys challenging herself with harder dances and more difficult singing parts. “I love harmonies, plus all the friends I’ve made so far. The dances are really fun, and the harmonies are so rewarding when we get them right.”

“I am excited to get back to my role of director and really work with students on developing character and telling the story with their actions, facial expressions and voice,” Baugh said. “It's always fun to watch the characters come alive and see how students find their own personal take on their parts.” 

Riverview is set to perform “Aladdin Jr.” March 2, 3, 7 and 8 in the Riverview auditorium at 7 p.m. The cast is crossing their fingers that this year’s opening night goes better than it did in March 2020.