Sardis Secondary conjures up Aladdin

Sardis Secondary presents their 2015 musical Aladdin, with performances December 1 to 5 at the school theatre.

Sardis Secondary students Jett Higginbottom (left - playing Aladdin)

Sardis Secondary students Jett Higginbottom (left - playing Aladdin)

Sardis Secondary presents their 2015 musical Aladdin December 1 to 5 at the school theatre.

Director Alison Guy has been producing the annual Sardis Secondary musicals for 20 years. She sat down with The Progress during a dress rehearsal to chat about the upcoming show.

Sardis Secondary musicals have come a long way since Alice in Wonderland 20 years ago.  At that time, the cardboard, paper mâché and chicken wire set used up every penny of Guy’s $200 production budget.

But over the years of putting on classic shows like Little Women, West Side Story, The King and I and many more – the musical budgets have grown in tandem with the cast and crowds.

“It’s always great to do the classics. Broadway shows are so much fun,” Guy enthused. For the senior population, the performances bring back nostalgic memories of the songs and dialogue in the musicals they grew up with.

This year, Sardis Secondary will be taking on their first ever Disney production, an adaptation of 1992 film Aladdin.

For her teenage cast, “Aladdin is a movie that they remember from their childhood,” Guy explained. But this fun Disney show is packed with smart humour, and it will bring joy to children and adults alike.

“All of us love a good story,” Guy said.

The cast is made up mostly of students from Sardis Secondary, with a few from Vedder Middle School and homeschool programs.

Jett Higginbottom plays Aladdin, Chelsea Perkins is the trusty magic carpet, Maggie Kwong is Princess Jasmine, Charlotte Mackenzie plays the Genie, and Alex Lundgren portrays evil Jafar.

Some of the high school cast are returning to the stage after playing ‘smaller’ roles in prior musicals when they were children, perhaps as a munchkin in The Wizard of Oz.

Aladdin was cast in the early summer, and the students have been busily memorizing lines, song lyrics, choreography, and stage direction as they amp up for their shows in the first week of December.

“It’s great, every year we get to build a little piece of magic,” Guy enthused. There will be no shortage of magic in this production.

Guy has taken a traditional approach to the Aladdin storyline, but made sure to update the jokes to keep them timely.

When you tally up the royalty fees for the script, the set costs, and costume budgets, the theatre department doesn’t make much profit with the production, but they do create an evening of enchantment and excitement that the audience will always remember.

As Guy helped the cast adjust their costumes, choreographer Karen Mason-Albert cleaned up the dance moves, and Kevin Biegel provided the incredible music, it was clear that excitement and nerves were building in the smiling cast and crew.

They’ve worked tirelessly during daily rehearsals to ensure that they put on a great show for Chilliwack crowds.

“The students really throw themselves into it,” Guy commended. “They give everything.”

Sardis Secondary presents Aladdin December 1 to 5 at 7 p.m. A matinee performance will also be held Dec. 5 at 2 p.m.

Tickets for the show are $12 and are available for purchase at the Sardis Secondary office.