‘Aladdin’ ropes in Suffolk talent

Published 10:59 pm Friday, October 5, 2012

From left, Joanna Sobczak, Renee and Becky Chasey, Barbara Sobczak, Meaghan Nygaard and Scott Chasey rehearse a song in preparation for next week’s run of “Aladdin” in Norfolk.

“Aladdin” is flying in to Norfolk next week, and six Suffolk residents are helping to turn the Roper Performing Arts Center into the enchanted and mysterious city of Agrabah.

Performing in the Hurrah Players’ version of the Disney film will be Scott Chasey and his twin 11-year-old daughters, Renee and Becky; Barbara Sobczak and her 8-year-old daughter, Joanna; and Lakeland High School freshman Meaghan Nygaard.

“It’s really fascinating, just to see the talent that comes out of the children,” said Barbara Sobczak. “I don’t know how to explain it. It’s a great experience as far as being part of something.”


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As a family theater company, Hurrah Players frequently puts on shows that require large casts and have roles available for all ages. Parents and children often are able to perform together, as is the case with two of the Suffolk families in the show.

“It’s very family-oriented,” said Scott Chasey, whose schedule as a lieutenant in the Hampton Division of Fire and Rescue allows him time to rehearse and work on sets for Hurrah Players shows. His wife, a home economics teacher, also does a lot of the costume work, he said.

“It keeps us all busy,” he said. “It keeps them out of trouble and keeps us together as a family.”

Chasey will play a guard during the show, and all the other Suffolk performers will be in the ensemble.

For the Sobczak family, it helps keep together the three children of widely varying ages — 23, 14 and 8.

“It’s hard to find something we all enjoy with the different age ranges,” Barbara Sobczak said. “It was really nice to find that.”

After the family has been in other Hurrah Players plays, including “Beauty and the Beast,” “Willy Wonka” and the Christmas pageant, Sobczak said “Aladdin” is presenting a challenge for them.

“I think some of the songs are a little trickier than other ones we’ve done,” she said. But she’s eagerly anticipating the show: “I’m looking forward to experiencing how they do the special effects and the flying,” she said.

Sobczak added that Hurrah Players shows seem to become magic every time the actors put on their costumes and step onto the stage.

“It happens time and time again,” she said. “There’s magic the minute that they put on that costume and the play starts to happen.”

Featuring favorite songs from the film like “A Whole New World” and “Friend Like Me,” the play will be performed Oct. 12-14 at the Roper Performing Arts Center at 340 Granby St., Norfolk. Tickets start at $15 for children or $20 for adults and can be purchased at www.hurrahplayers.com or by calling 627-5437.

Tickets also are available for Tea with Princess Jasmine before the Oct. 13 show. The $15-a-ticket event offers light snacks and photo opportunities with Jasmine and other characters. Call 627-5437 to reserve your spot.