‘Golly Gee Whiz!’

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TORRINGTON – Local thespians from Torrington Middle School (TMS) proudly presented “Golly Gee Whiz,” last week in the Torrington High School Auditorium.  

The production is produced by special arrangement with Pioneer Drama Service, Inc., Englewood, Colorado.

The book by Joanne Bogart and Eric Rockwell with music by Rockwell and lyrics by Bogart, is a heartful homage to the classic Judy Garland and Mickey Rooney movie musicals. 

Staged in 1939, the small, depressed, town of Happyville, USA is struggling to cope with the economic woes until one group of kids decide to put on a show to raise money for the town. Lead by Mickey, portraited by Breck Shannon, an energetic go-getter who loves show biz, the group of Happyville teens pair together to develop a set, characters, props, scripts, choreography, and wardrobe. 

Kitty Kodgers, played by Camilla Harrison, a young imaginative and hardworking poet develops a script for the town’s group, while Slappy Sammerstein (Brooklyn MacKenzie), a serious but fun-loving musician, develops the tunes.

Jane, a fearless born engineer, played by Briella Wolfe, oversees development of the set of production for the small group of actors and Aubreeana Briggs, portrayed Edith, costume mistress, a wisecrack in love with her assistant, Mac (Braedon Gilbert).

Throughout the actual production, the Happyville crew transforms a dusty old barn into a patriotic, Hollywood set.

Judy, played by Lilith Beck, is the sweet and spunky girl next door who falls in love with Mickey while the production begins. Judy is excited to show Mickey “Gee, you’re swell,” a song she wrote for the production only to continuously be interrupted by the towns folk as they continued to work on the elements. 

Freddie Finkelhoffer, the town’s pessimist, frequently reminds Mickey his idea to save the town with a play will never work but the group of determined children continue to push on. 

Mac confesses his love to Edith and the younger children fight in a dual of song and dance, hoping for a spot in Mickey’s production.

Judy and Mickey continue fall in love as Deanna Saprana (Karis Walker), a talented but self-adsorbed diva, moves into steal the show. 

Mickey is blind-sided by Sparana’s eccentric personality and soon he is smitten and forgets Judy. Saprana proudly takes over the lead role in the Happyville town production until she unfortunately takes showbusiness a little too far and breaks a leg. 

With no one available to fill Saprana’s shoes, Judy steps in to cover for the injured actress on short notice.

Happyville’s patriotic production, complete with Lady Liberty portrayed by Mae (Olivia Meyer), a clumsy but determined ugly duckling who transforms into a beautiful swan, closes out TMS’s production of Golly Gee Whiz! 

Golly Gee Whiz! Was directed by Katelyn Fody with lighting and sound provided by Gary Glass. Morgan Von Lintel designed the set, costumes and props used in the production.