Streamwood High School is performing its most ambitious musical ever: "Phantom of the Opera," Thursday, April 14, through Saturday, April 16.
In its first performances last weekend, "everyone just loved it," said Director of Choirs David Hain, who has been directing the school's musicals for the last six years. The production sold out one night and almost did the other two. "It was a smash."
The school has been working on the production for six months, with the complexity of the sets and staging requiring involvement of people from many different parts of the school besides theater, choir and band, including the art program, and career and technical education.
"There are more gadgets, more gimmicks," he said. "It is by far the biggest musical we have ever done in every respect. It's really a community event."
Parents also were a huge help. "They gave up their weekends, their weekdays for months."
Hain said he'd initially inquired about getting the rights to produce "Chicago" this year but couldn't because a touring company was coming through with that production. Instead, he was offered "Phantom of the Opera."
"I was terrified," he said, of the challenge of mounting the production. He said he had to have faith that he would get sufficient support, in terms of everything from student actors auditioning for the key parts, to people willing to paint and build sets.
"You have to know your community. They really came through," he said. "Audiences are calling our set and technology 'Broadway quality,' and our cast is the most talented I've ever worked with."
The play is at 7 p.m. each day in the Streamwood High School auditorium, 701 W. Schaumburg Road, Streamwood. Tickets are $8 at www.streamwoodchoirs.co.nr or e-mail StreamwoodPhantom@gmail.com or call (630) 213-5500, ext. 4905.