March 5, 1997
Rock 'n' Roll Revue pulls into Sherwood High School Friday night for two weekends of sold-out performances for the 26th annual revival show.
The original concept was based on a rock 'n' roll revue show Sherwood teacher Sam Andelman and the yearbook staff saw during a New York field trip 27 years ago. The show goes back to its roots this year.
The stage is framed by a theater marquee and decorated to look like one of the grand old theaters where original rock 'n' roll revues played.
The show is an eclectic mix of songs from the late 1950s to the late 1980s, said teacher Gene Orndorff, the show's producer.
"Bill [Evans, the choral music director] and I have lists of songs we really want to do and then we trim it," Orndorff said. "We pick the final music based on the talent we have."
The show ranges from Tony Torres doing Elvis' 1956 song "Too Much" to Rachel Arroyo, Nicki Constantino and Mike Menefee doing the B-52's' 1989 song, "Love Shack."
In between will be Jeremy Lese doing Freddy and the Dreamers' "I'm Telling You Now," Jaime Tucker doing Freda Payne's "Band of Gold" and Andy Lethbridge doing the Foundations' "Build Me Up Buttercup." The evening also includes 40 other songs.
Teacher Valorie Powell will be backed by the Pips (teachers Debbie Reier and Judy Reiff) on Gladys Knight's "Letter Full of Tears." Reier will sing the lead on Linda Ronstadt's "You're No Good."
"We're trying to do a straight-up musical revival of the time period," Orndorff said.
As Sherwood grows in size, its talent base is also growing. This year's show will feature 170 singers and dancers and a band of 25.
Gary Aiken is assisting teacher Joe Reiff in directing the band. His assistants are Brock Smith and Matt Dingels.
Keona Lee and Sarah Husman are helping Powell with the choreography.
Rock 'n' roll revival is often a family affair. Smith said he has been coming to the shows for the past 10 years, ever since his older brother John Bagby was in the cast. His sister Sarah is now in the cast.
"I've seen the show for many years," said Tracie Regnault, the show's student director.
Two years ago, her older sister Jennifer was a soloist. This year, her younger sister Allison is a soloist.
Regnault, a junior, worked on the crew and helped build the sets for the last two years.
For the first time, Sherwood sold tickets by mail before the box office opened.
They had requests for 4,700 tickets, said teacher Judy Reiff, the show's business manager. The few remaining tickets were gone in two days.
Next year, ticket sales will be by mail-order only, Reiff said, and the number of seats per letter will be limited. This year, some letters requested 40 or more seats. Mail orders will be accepted in mid-February.
"Send us a Valentine," Reiff said.
The show raises money for Sherwood's PTSA scholarship committee and the art, music and journalism departments.