Friday, January 29, 2016

Some Music, a Show and a Superintendent Search

Photos by Evan Brandt

Above, cast members of The Wiz, from left, Emanuel Wilkerson as the Cowardly Lion, Mardaije Pearson as Dorothy, Nicholas  Parson as Scarecrow and Zechariah Howard as the Tin Man, perform "Ease on Down the Road" for the school board Thursday night. That's Seth Thomas in the back. He plays The Wiz himself.

At right, members of the Pottstown High School Jazz Band get ready to perform "Moondance" and "It's Too Damn Hot."

It's hard to beat the way Pottstown decided to appreciate its school board members during school
board appreciation night -- music and a show.

What? No dinner?

Anyway, the Pottstown High School Jazz Band kicked things off with an interpretation of the popular Van Morrison hit, "Moondance," with band director Mike Vought sitting in for a sick drummer on the skins.

And yeah sure, you can see the videos down in the Twitter stream below, but who wants to wait for smooth tunes?

Here they are:

They followed up that performance with a Cole Porter classic number from his show "Kiss Me Kate," also made famous by Ella Fitzgerald.

The song is called "It's Too Darn Hot."

Not to be outdone in the musical performance department, several members of the cast of the upcoming musical performance of "The Wiz" were on hand to offer a preview of their show, which will be staged March 4, 5 and 6th.

This year's production, which marks the second consecutive show after an absence of several years, will be a district-wide production, meaning students from lower grades will take part as well.

In fact the show is so inclusive, it even includes a member of the Pottstown School Board, Emanuel Wilkerson, who plays the cowardly lion -- ironic since he was bold enough to run for and win a seat on the school board while still a student in high school.

(You can check out production and ticket information on their Facebook page.)

Anyway, we started off with Seth Thomas, a veteran of last year's production of "Grease," performing a song about meeting The Wiz, which he plays. Here he is:

And if you know anything about the iconic show (I was lucky enough to see it on Broadway as a kid ... yes, I'm THAT old) the song you're most likely to know is "Ease on Down the Road."

Here's Pottstown's version:

The performances completed, the board enjoyed a different performance, or perhaps we should say a repeat performance.

Last month, John George, the executive director of the Montgomery County Intermediate Unit, made the pitch for his organization to conduct the search to replace retiring superintendent Jeff Sparagana in a closed door meeting from which the public was excluded.

After some hubub in the local media, he made the presentation again last night, in public.

And the board voted unanimously to have the MCIU conduct the search, and to be complete as early as April.

Another guest was Josh Gould, a member of the Phoenixville School Board. He talked about how his district enacted a LERTA tax district, and what it did for them.

The Tweets are below, but the thumbnail sketch is: mixed results.

Anyway, without further ado, dive in to the Tweets and links.

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