Monthly Archives: April 2012

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Feature slider by CHRISTY FLOM '13 | Clubs Editor
Feature slider by CHRISTY FLOM '13 | Clubs Editor

JACK CHASE ’13 | Staff Writer

Conservation Club is showing its green thumb with the construction of an urban garden that will be positioned in the patio area between the S building and the Main Building.

Garden plans have been bounced around for a number of years, but actual planning began in the fall of 2011, Conservation Club President Sarah Fentin ’12 said.  There were a multitude of obstacles to overcome before the garden was officially approved.

The process started with a proposal that was written to the administration introducing the idea, Fentin said.  Conservation Club also needed to find teachers to support the project before a meeting was held with Principal Dr. Matt Outlaw.  Once he approved the plans for the garden, the Mothers’ Club agreed that it would benefit South.

By JACK CHASE '13 | Staff writer. The Conservation Club poses for a group picture.

In hopes of providing fresh produce for Commercial Foods free of charge, the garden will be run by South students, for South students, Fentin said.  Conservation Club will be growing foods such as carrots, garlic, basil, cilantro, lettuce and other produce of a similar nature.

“I am hoping that we get herbs and vegetables,” said Commercial Foods Teacher Patti O’Hare.  “Herbs are very expensive to buy and fresh herbs are wonderful in food.”

Along with helping to sustain the Commercial Foods program, Fentin said they wanted to create an enjoyable environment for students to have lunch and want to be outside.

“We want to have a nice environment where people involved in the garden and not involved can enjoy it,” said Fentin.

Any food that does not go to Commercial Foods will be donated to local food banks, Conservation Club Officer Rebecca Brewster added.

Many different supplies had to be aquired before production began, club member Erin Donovan ’13 said.  Seeds, soil, and wood for a small fence, which purpose is to keep out unwanted animals, were donated for the garden.  Money that was earned through bake sales held throughout the year went toward paying for the supplies, such as anchoring stakes and waterproof laquer for the wood, which were not donated.  The club was only responsibe for paying $22.

Construction began Thursday, April 26, 2012, and hopefully seeds will be planted by Monday, April 30, 2012, Fentin said.  After planting has finished, the garden will be maintained through the summer by members of the Conservation Club.

By JACK CHASE '13 | Staff Writer. Members of the Conservation Club hope to have construction of the garden completed by the end of the year, Fentin '12 said.

“We hope for the whole South community to be involved one day, but for now we kind of have to start small,” said Brewster.  “However, anyone who wants to help can help.”

There is a strong underclassman population in the club that will help to keep the garden maintained and growing, Fentin said.

“Once it gets bigger, it can hopefully be a community thing where kids and classes can go out and hopefully get involved,” said Fentin.

Brian Hall portrays the Phantom, the lead, in both casts.
THOMAS KEATING ‘13| Entertainment Editor

Note that this review was written after viewing the blue cast performance of “Phantom.” The gold and blue cast alternate performances each day.

Before I begin, I’d just like to say that the production of a Grosse Pointe South musical is no simple endeavor. As a veteran of South’s 2010 production of “Pippin”, I am all too familiar with the long hours, stress and more long hours that go into a production. These students worked their derrieres off (I can say that one, right?), and deserve recognition for that work alone.

Brian Hall portrays the Phantom, the lead, in both casts.

First of all, the acting was phenomenal. Brian Hall ’12 delivered a particularly amazing performance as the Phantom, after whom the musical is named. The Phantom is a physically disfigured, musical genius who lurks around an opera house, tormenting the actors, musicians, dancers and managers that occupy the theatre. Hall’s acting skills allowed him to walk the line between a manipulating villain and a misunderstood hero the Phantom must tread. His pained, yet sympathetic portrayal was worthy of this legendary role.

Christina Swanson’s ’12 performance of Christine was equally fantastic. Her mastery of ridiculously high notes was impressive to say the least. Swanson’s performance was spot-on and deserved every bit of applause it recieved. Weronika Lukaszewska and Carolyn Alam, both ’12, also held their own as the other female leads, Meg Giry and Madame Giry.

The actor who truly stole the show was Frankie Thams ’15. As Raoul, Christine’s love interest, Thams was well-prepared to play this powerful lead. But the most impressive part is that Thams is just a freshman. In South productions, it is rare for a freshman to get more than two or three lines. Frankie, however, earned a well-deserved place on the main cast, holding his own when singing with Swanson, as well as in an epic swordfight with Hall (did I mention there’s an epic swordfight? Yeah, there’s an epic swordfight).

Jack Dailey ’14 and Dante Wildern ’12 were hilarious as well as dramatic in the roles of the new owners of the theater. The two had superb on-stage chemistry, as shown in several scenes in which they bicker and scheme, all trying to rid their new investment of the nuisance that is the Phantom.

The other couple, two Italian prima donnas starring in the theater’s productions, were clear audience favorites (although the audience seemed to like everything). Nick “Nill” Savinov’s ’12 portrayal of an overconfident Italian actor incited huge laughs from the audience. The same could be said for Elyse Croce ’12, essentially a female version of Savinov’s character.

Although the production was expensive, I think the audience got its money’s worth. The scenes and special effects were fantastic. Effects included a sea of fog, some dang impressive lighting and, my personal favorite, a chandelier that breaks and reassembles. Special thanks go to Dan Vicary, the tech director, and his crew for creating a brilliant atmosphere.

We can’t forget the minor characters. Ryan Powell ’14, in particular, was an effective and hilarious actor, both as an auctioneer and an incompetent policeman. On top of that, the ballet dancers were a great addition to the show, giving a rather grim show a lighter feel at times.

So, if you couldn’t tell already, I thought the show was pretty good. I suggest you go see it. If not for me and not for the cast who’s worked so hard on this, go see it because it was truly exceptional. I might even have to go see the gold cast after the blue cast’s stellar performance.

Times for other performances include:

 4/26, 5/5- 7:30 p.m.

4/27, 4/28, 5/4, 5/5 – 8 p.m.

4/29 – 3 p.m

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KELLY CULLEN AND CHRISTY FLOM both ‘13 | Staff Writer and Online Clubs Editor

For most people, becoming involved in the Mothers’ Club Annual Fashion Show means either getting the rare and coveted opportunity to be excused from school or else forced against one’s will by pushy moms to sign up.

Whatever reason may hold true for signing up, “the fashion must go on,” was a statement the models heard repeatedly throughout the production. This statement encompassed the whole theme of the show.

As models, our day started off early. Since we are girls, with long, thick hair, large chunks of time had to be set aside for our hair and makeup appointments that were set up in the multi-purpose room. Thankfully, our appointments were at 8, so we rushed straight there, so that everyone at school would not have to see what we actually look like without our daily makeup covering up our dark circles under our eyes and imperfections.  If you think or heard that modeling was the best part, then you’ve been wrongly informed.  Welcomed with the strong scent of hair spray and the loud, energetic voices of the Edwin Paul Salon stylists, it was the perfect start to our day to let the professionals take charge.

Photo by Pamela Flom | Christy Flom '13 gets her hair done in the multipurpose room before the show.

Not only was it relaxing and a relief to not worry about doing our own hair and makeup, it was also very entertaining to scope out all of the different hairstyles around us.  From simple curls to extravagant French twisted up-dues, the hairstyles were definitely the showstopper.  To us this was one of the most fun parts throughout the day.  The makeup artists knew exactly what features to accentuate on our faces, too.

While makeup and hair may have been relaxing, our day was far from over. With the next wave of models waiting for their appointments, we were told to move out of the way. Trying to avoid going back to classes, we spent the next few hours wandering the halls in circles and waiting for the food to arrive in the Commons.  We tried not to snack in order to conserve our figures for our tight fitting outfits, but once the food arrived, all willpower was lost.

Providing the models with a variety of healthy food, our options included lovely, greasy, Jets pizza, candy, pretzels, brownies, and on a small table in the corner of the commons, some carrots were barely noticeable, too.

Subsequently, “the fashion must go on” and after lunch it was time to face our outfits again for the first time since our fittings earlier in the week. Thankfully our outfits successfully fit us after the nutritious lunch. This was the most surprising part of the day. Seeing normal students transform into runway models revealed the inner fashionistas of us all.

Photo by Elizabeth DiMauro '12 | Kelly Cullen, Lindsey Mestdagh, Lauren Schaller and Kim Stavale all '13 pose for the camera before walking down the runway.

Finally, after a short delay, the choir finished their numbers and it was time for us to face the spotlight. The students were organized by store, and lead through the halls to line up behind the gym. With roughly 145 students, it was not an easy task for the parent leaders to keep the hallways silent while the first stores started the show. With music blaring in the gym, we put on our model faces and waited for our cue to go. If the nerves hadn’t hit us then, they hit hard after our first few steps out towards Mr. Trudel, the MC of the event.

Thankfully, Trudel had prepared us for this moment in rehearsal. The saying, “pause, pose, turn” had been engrained in our minds from the start. Our minute of stardom seemed to last forever, as we attempted to remember the order of the corners we had been told to walk in on the stage. Walk to the far corner and pose; back corner and pose; walk to the left corner and pose; cross the square for one last pose in the fourth corner and then exit out of the gym.

As the show was an overall success, hopefully, nobody noticed the minute incidents that occurred on the stage. From the back of one our shoes popping off, to some miscommunication with one of our walking partners, all that was left for us to do was to continue forward and remember that “the fashion must go on.”


ALEX RICHARDS ’14| Staff Writer

After three months of endless rehearsals, continuous constume changes, and choreography, “Phantom Of The Opera” is ready to be performed. Starring Brian Hall ’12 as the Phantom, and Christina Swanson ’14 and Ingrid Burton ’13 as Christine, the $93,000 play will be performed on the following dates:

  • Thursday, April 26 at 7:30 p.m.
  • Friday, April 27 at 8 p.m.
  • Saturday, April 28 at 8 p.m.
  • Sunday, April 29 at 3 p.m.
  • Friday, May 4 at 8 p.m.
  • Saturday, May 5 at 8 p.m.


 Click on the image for a longer description:

Created with flickr slideshow.

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Artwork by Ellie Zak '14
Artwork by Ellie Zak '14
Artwork by Ellie Zak '14
Illustration by Ellie Zak '14

In preparation for their upcoming performances of “Phantom of the Opera,” students involved in the musical have spent countless hours for months rehearsing. The students involved in this production deserve to be commended for their outstanding dedication and commitment to ensuring the show is a success.

Students in the musical have spent hours practicing after school every day and on the weekends since the choir returned from their trip to Italy in February. The time and energy the cast has put into the musical deserves appreciation.

Parent volunteers and students in the Fashion and Fabrics class have also dedicated time to creating costumes for the cast, and others have contributed by constructing props and sets for the show, and driving students to and from rehearsals.

The annual musical at South is an event that attracts attention from all over the state, and has claimed many prestigious awards in the past years. In 2008, “USA Today” named “Les Miserables” the top musical in the state. Other productions have claimed International Thespian Festival choral awards, along with many other awards and recognition.

The students involved in this production have devoted a considerable amount of time and effort into rehearsing, and attending the show is an opportunity students should take advantage of. It is no easy feat to balance school, homework and everyday rehearsals, but the cast has done so in order to provide the area with quality entertainment.

This cast deserves the same support as students involved in athletics receive, as they too spend many hours afterschool and on weekends perfecting their craft. After the amount of time students have put into preparing for this, the show is sure to be enjoyable for all. The all-school musical is an important tradition at South, and it is imperative that students show their support and attend the show.

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