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HSMT Wows with PEACH at the Park

Miller Outdoor Theater is a hot spot with Houstonians for entertainment during the warm summer months. The venue is particularly popular with families as was evident by the major turnout for Theatre Under The Stars (TUTS) Humphreys School of Musical Theatre’s (HSMT) production of James and the Giant Peach. Co-Directors Matthew C. Logan and Evan Tsitsias, Music Director Thom Culcasi, and Choreographer Cathy Marmolejo, along with TUTS Manager of Education Mikeitta Williams, worked tirelessly to put together an amazing show featuring some of HSMT’s most talented students.

Forty-four HSMT student actors, 26 professional crew members, and eight volunteers worked to give three afternoon performances of James and the Giant Peach Jr. and one full length performance of James and the Giant Peach before packed audiences. The kids ever weathered an unexpected technical difficulty when the final performance had to be cancelled due to a loss of power at the venue. However, in true theatrical style, they improvised an impromptu flash mob-style version of many of the show’s musical numbers outside the stage door, much to the delight of many patrons who stood six and seven rows deep.

James and the Giant Peach was a storybook that came to life right before your eyes. On Friday night, the audience was enthralled as they watched the actors transform into the characters. The children in the audience were mesmerized as they watched the peach grow throughout the show pointing out to their parents the moments in the show that they recognized from the book.

Next up for HSMT? Preparing for its annual ACT@TUTS Summer Conservatory production. The 2012 revival of Working, featuring music by Lin-Manuel Miranda, Stephen Schwartz, James Taylor, and others, will start rehearsal at the beginning of August and will feature 40 Academy students. Based on Studs Terkel’s novel, this new version of Working is a literal musical exploration of people from all walks of life and how people’s relationships to their work ultimately reveal key aspects of their humanity. Working is directed by Roshunda Jones and runs September 16-17, 2016 in Zilkha Hall. Click here to find out more.

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