Lights, Camera, Action! Offbeat Players Production of High School Musical Opens Wednesday

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Greenwich Free Press reporter Elizabeth Budinoff with Melissa Fraioli at Arch Street Teen Center for the dress rehearsal of Offbeat Players production of High School Musical. August 1, 2016 Credit: Leslie Yager

Arch Street Teen Center was all abuzz on Monday night. The cast of Offbeat Players production of High School Musical rehearsed for the first time with full costumes, lights and microphones.

Technical director Steve Hohl, a Greenwich High School graduate from Class of 2006 said ticket sales have been brisk and the weekend performances were close to selling out.


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Nicole Macchiavello said she moved to Greenwich a couple years ago and found the crew at Offbeat Players to be very welcoming. “I was so nervous at first. I didn’t want to audition.”

“We badgered her,” Steve said.

“I feel self worth and I feel happy,” Nicole beamed.

“That’s why we keep coming back,” Steve said.

Michael Busani, who had a lead in last summer’s OBP production of Bye Bye Birdie and more recently a lead in the Greenwich High School spring musical Anything Goes, said that this summer he switched to a more behind-the-scenes role involving production and directing.

“Now I’m realizing how much work the tech crew does,” he said, adding that he’s been working on costumes and props, and helping actors with their cues.

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Tony Morello gives direction during the OBP dress rehearsal of High School Musical, August 1, 2016. Credit Elizabeth Budinoff

“This production is a team effort,” Michael said of OBP’s inclusive mission. “It brings out the best in people – everyone shines on stage. It doesn’t matter who they are when they come in.”

Melissa Fraioli said she got involved with Offbeat Players after best friend Courtney was cast as Rosie last year in Bye Bye Birdie. “I came to the show three out of the four nights and I asked myself,  ‘Why didn’t I do this now?” she recalled. “Also, a bunch of my friends are in it. It’s really such a great program to be involved with. there is really no reason to not do this.”

“The program is for kids with disabilities – it gives them a chance to really shine on stage. It’s a good environment for them because most of their socializing is done over the school year rather than over the summer. This is a really great free program for them to get involved with,” she said. “It’s a great experience.”

Jack Ulrich, another active member of the GHS theater department, said he joined the show after his two best friends participated last year.

“I’ve grown to love the community and all the people I’ve met,” Jack said. “I really couldn’t imagine myself doing anything else.”

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Nicole Anunziata and Michael Busani at the dress rehearsal of High School Musical at the Arch Street Teen Center, Aug 1, 2016 Credit: Elizabeth Budinoff

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Dress rehearsal Offbeat Players production of High School Musical at the Arch Street Teen Center, Aug 1, 2016 Credit: Elizabeth Budinoff

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Dress rehearsal Offbeat Players production of High School Musical at the Arch Street Teen Center, Aug 1, 2016 Credit: Elizabeth Budinoff

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Dress rehearsal Offbeat Players production of High School Musical at the Arch Street Teen Center, Aug 1, 2016 Credit: Elizabeth Budinoff

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Dress rehearsal Offbeat Players production of High School Musical at the Arch Street Teen Center, Aug 1, 2016 Credit: Elizabeth Budinoff

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Jack Ullrich and Melissa Fraioli at the the dress rehearsal for Offbeat Players production of High School Musical. Aug 1, 2016 Credit: Elizabeth Budinoff

 

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Chris Lopes, who attends NCC with Emily Bass a rising senior at Greenwich High School, Aug 1, 2016 Credit: Leslie Yager

 

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Alexandra Frumin, Chris Lopes and Emily Bass at the rehearsal for the OBP production of High School Musical, Aug 1, 2016 Credit: Elizabeth Budinoff

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Greenwich High School alumni Tony Morello and Steve Hohl, with Michael Buscani, a rising senior at GHS. Aug 1, 2016 Credit: Elizabeth Budinoff

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Tony Morello, Steve Hohl, Michael Busani and Nicole Macchiavello Aug. 1, 2016 Credit: Elizabeth Budinoff

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Jack Ullrich and Melissa Fraioli at Arch Street Teen Center moments before the dress rehearsal of Offbeat Players High School Musical. Aug 1, 2016 Credit: Elizabeth Budinoff


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