Sunday, May 4, 2008

Bravo, Blake High School!

When was the last time you went to see a high school play? You might be surprised to find out just how enjoyable they are, not to mention what a nice, inexpensive evening out they can prove to be.

The missus and I left the kids home and went on a date last night to James Hubert Blake High School in Silver Spring to see its production of the musical "Les Miserables". For those of you who don't know, Blake is Montgomery County's performing arts magnet school, so it's filled with budding future professional actors, singers and dancers. We were cautiously optimistic that these high school kids would do justice to the Victor Hugo classic, but to be honest, we were blown away!

Robin and I have seen "Les Miz" on Broadway, and while I couldn't call this its equal, you could certainly put it up there with any regional theater in terms of quality - from the voices to the costumes to the sets... everything first class all the way! It certainly blew away any production I had ever done at any level through college! For just a couple of bucks more than the cost of a movie, we were treated to a great night of entertainment, and thrilled to see teenagers pour their hearts into the arts!

For those of you unfamiliar with the plot or music of Les Miserables, check out this clever synopsis courtesy of our friends at Lego!


Julie Matthews Burnette said...

Do you hear the people sing? Singing the song of plastic men? I don't know about Blake High School, but I loved the Lego version of Les Mis!

John O said...

Hey John,

thanks for your fine praise of our little show. As one of the adult sponsors of the Blake Stage Co, I can say we're all pretty jazzed about how it went, proud of the hard work our kids put into that beast, and very glad to hear we kept you and yours entertained for a few hours. FWIW, we're doing one more night this coming Wednesday the 18th!!!

One minor correction though, Blake is in no way MoCo's performing arts magnet high school. Common mistake; I correct it A LOT. We don't really even have one of the better performance facilities (no, I'm not kidding).

Blake is just a normal comprehensive high school which is allowed to have a hair more arts focus because of our "signature" program - no kid has to audition to get in, nor are they told what electives to take as they would at a "real" arts school. What's worse, we compete within our own building for kids who are drawn to more creative opportunites than exist at the average high school. So, we get a show like Les Mis on stage with normal teenagers like you'd find in any high school, we just never tell them, "it's only high school theatre" and they seem to enjoy meeting that higher standard.

Thanks again for Blogging about our show.

John Ovington
TD, Blake Stage Co.