Kids go to Broadway at NPES

Published 10:18 pm Wednesday, April 18, 2018

About 150 fourth- and fifth-graders at Nansemond Parkway Elementary School sang their hearts out to a crowd of hundreds on April 12.

The school auditorium at 3012 Nansemond Parkway was packed with friends and family for “Broadway at 3012,” an elaborate production by the school resource team with eight different student acts.

Several of the acts adapted beloved musical films like “The Greatest Showman,” “Matilda,” “Newsies” and “The Lion King.” The students and teachers rehearsed for months on choreography and lyrics to make their spring production memorable.


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“Last year we did Motown, and it was such a big hit that we decided to broaden it this time,” said Shannah Silver, the computer lab assistant in charge of the production.

Nansemond Parkway Elementary School students jump and spin to “Bring it On” during the “Broadway at 3012” production on April 12.

The young performers opened their show with a lively dance routine throughout the whole auditorium to Justin Timberlake’s “Can’t Stop the Feeling.” They swayed back and forth in rhythm, laughing and clapping at the crowd’s immense cheering.

“They have worked tirelessly on this,” Silver said about the students. “It’s amazing. They just took it and ran with it. I’m so proud of them.”

One group of students donned black outfits with striking blue masks and drum sticks for their catchy rendition of “Blue Man Group.”

“They did an excellent job,” said Music Resource Teacher Russell Andrews, who supervised the young blue students. “The crowd seemed to really enjoy them and the students were really excited.”

Fourth grader Cameryn Blount, 10, had a solo and led all the other orphans on stage for “Annie.”

“I like that she’s an orphan who finds a new life that’s better than the one she had before,” she said about the titular character.

Lights shined on a slew of brilliant props and costumes. Some of the costumes were rented, but most of the show’s artistic ingenuity came from the students themselves, including sunset backdrops, wooden rhinos and lion manes.

“It’s a lot of work,” said fifth-grader Andrew Perkins, 11, who was part of the costumes and props team. “You have to have everyone do their part.”

Five fifth-graders dressed for a revolution in bright blue and smoky gray for “The Schuyler Sisters” and “My Shot” in their lauded showing of the popular Broadway musical “Hamilton.” Olivia Adkins, 11, and were “Hamilton” fans even before rehearsals.

“My favorite part was how happy we could get the crowd to be and how much we could get them to cheer,” Olivia said.

The original plan was for the five students to sing just “The Schuyler Sisters,” until Tosha Penkrot, media specialist and their supervisor, caught some of them singing “My Shot” just for fun. They ended up adding it to the list.

“I was like 99.9-percent nervous at first,” said Marissa Bines, 11.

Her co-star Conner Hammond, 11, felt the same nerves as well, but none of them threw away their shot at showtime.

“When I finally got on stage, I actually felt really good, and I knew I would do good,” Conner said.