For Horace Greeley senior Alex Djaha, spring has always meant lacrosse, three hours of practice right after school that requires him to run, check and score.
<object id=”flashObj” width=”486″ height=”412″ classid=”clsid:D27CDB6E-AE6D-11cf-96B8-444553540000″ codebase=”http://download.macromedia.com/pub/shockwave/cabs/flash/swflash.cab#version=9,0,47,0″><param name=”movie” value=”http://c.brightcove.com/services/viewer/federated_f9/48345545001?isVid=1″ /><param name=”bgcolor” value=”#FFFFFF” /><param name=”flashVars” value=”omnitureAccountID=gpaper183,gntbcstglobal&pageContentCategory=Life&Leisure&pageContentSubcategory=ENTERTAINMENT080201&marketName=Westchester, Rockland, Putnam:LoHud&revSciSeg=&revSciZip=07675&revSciAge=1963&revSciGender=male&division=newspaper&SSTSCode=lifestyle/index.htm&videoId=76528258001&playerID=48345545001&domain=embed&dynamicStreaming=true” /><param name=”base” value=”http://admin.brightcove.com” /><param name=”seamlesstabbing” value=”false” /><param name=”allowFullScreen” value=”true” /><param name=”swLiveConnect” value=”true” /><param name=”allowScriptAccess” value=”always” /><embed src=”http://c.brightcove.com/services/viewer/federated_f9/48345545001?isVid=1″ bgcolor=”#FFFFFF” flashVars=”omnitureAccountID=gpaper183,gntbcstglobal&pageContentCategory=Life&Leisure&pageContentSubcategory=ENTERTAINMENT080201&marketName=Westchester, Rockland, Putnam:LoHud&revSciSeg=&revSciZip=07675&revSciAge=1963&revSciGender=male&division=newspaper&SSTSCode=lifestyle/index.htm&videoId=76528258001&playerID=48345545001&domain=embed&dynamicStreaming=true” base=”http://admin.brightcove.com” name=”flashObj” width=”486″ height=”412″ seamlesstabbing=”false” type=”application/x-shockwave-flash” allowFullScreen=”true” swLiveConnect=”true” allowScriptAccess=”always” pluginspage=”http://www.macromedia.com/shockwave/download/index.cgi?P1_Prod_Version=ShockwaveFlash”></embed></object>This season, though, he has added at least three hours of blocking to his daily spring routine. This weekend, Djaha and 152 fellow members of the Class of 2010 present their seniors-only musical: “The Return to the Forbidden Planet.”
It makes for a long day — a full day of classes, three hours of lacrosse, three or more hours of rehearsal, then home by 11 to do homework — but he said he wouldn’t have missed this Greeley tradition.
“I’ve been wishing I had time to do theater since middle school,” Djaha said. “But it’s always been the same season as lacrosse. Even if I just was in the cast, not a major part, I was going to do it this year, but I’m really happy with this role.”
“This role” is the central figure in “Forbidden Planet,” a mash-up of “Star Trek” and Shakespeare’s “The Tempest,” set to a catchy mix of ’50s and ’60s rock ’n’ roll.
There’s Dr. Prospero (Djaha), his daughter, Miranda (Christine Haggerty), Captain Tempest (Matt Haas), his ex-wife the Science Officer Gloria (Julia Deutsch), a newscaster (Zach Ehrlich), a cook (Matt Krakauer), and the ship’s go-to guy, Bosun (Mitch Rubin). There’s also a host of navigation officers, technical officers, first mates, flight crew, flight attendants, damage-control technicians, and — this being a sci-fi piece — robots, asteroids and space monsters.
The score weaves in classics “Good Vibrations,” “I Can’t Turn You Loose,” “Only the Lonely” and “Wipeout!” The Jerry Lee Lewis classic, “Great Balls of Fire,” is accompanied by an asteroid shower that will fill the auditorium with swirling, spinning asteroids who might look familiar to friends and family.
Director Christopher Schraufnagel’s cast of 153 brings together a third of the graduating class: kids with no acting experience alongside others who have spent most of their lives, and all of high school, treading the boards.
Greeley’s is one of just three seniors-only shows in the Lower Hudson Valley. It has been a Mamaroneck tradition for years, one that former Mamaroneck director Cal Chiang took with him to Pearl River, where he directed a seniors-only “Grease!” in October. Mamaroneck presents “Urinetown” next weekend.
“All of the behind-the-scenes stuff, I’d never really thought about,” Djaha said. “It’s tough doing the show and lacrosse, but I enjoy memorizing my lines and how everything works.”
Haas, a theater kid who estimated this is his 15th show at Greeley, plays the space ship’s captain.
“I’m the William Shatner of the show,” he joked, adding: “A lot of people don’t understand the huge time commitment of being in a show, so it’s fun to show them, ‘This is what I do.’”
Christine Haggerty, another Greeley theater kid, plays Prospero’s daughter, Miranda. She said she likes acting alongside those for whom this is all new.
“You get to meet a lot of new people and share some stuff that you know and learn from other people, too,” she said. “It’s awesome to have a whole new group of people to work with.”
Last fall, Julia Deutsch played Eva Peron in Greeley’s production of “Evita.” She said she had to modify her approach for this show.
“At first, it was really disorienting, because I came in really serious. You have to adapt to the general mood,” she said. “It’s so much more fun and different.”
Deutsch said she liked the fact that proceeds from the production will help the scholarship fund.
“It’s nice to know that it’s going somewhere else than just the audience,” she said. “It’s more than just a show. They want to see us all together. It’s more than just the performance.”
Mitch Rubin plays Bosun, the “all-around good guy who helps out around the ship.”
This is his first show.
He has played basketball, plays lacrosse and is the leader of the male a capella group, Acafellas.
“I was in video class once and acted in a video, but never to this degree,” he said. “Memorizing lines is a little hard.”
Just then, he was called to demonstrate his mastery of the lines. With each one delivered correctly, he gave himself a small thumbs-up.
“The show definitely brings people together,”?Djaha said. “You hang out with kids you never usually hang out with, because all the groups come together.”
What: “Return to the Forbidden Planet”
Where: Horace Greeley High School, 70 Roaring Brook Road, Chappaqua
When: 7 p.m. April 15, 8 p.m. April 16; 2 p.m. and 8 p.m. April 17
Tickets: $20, a fund-raiser for the scholarship fund.
With: Liz Albert, Sarah Allen, Ariel Altman, Avery Beck, Carl Becker, Lucas Becker, Nate Becker, Matt Benson, Nicole Berg, Ben Berkey, Ethan Berman, Sabrina Bergstein, Meredith Bilski, Alix Birdoff, Heather Boland, Becky Carroll, Sam Caywood, Cheryl Cho, Luke Conley, Julia Deutsch, Alix Diaconis, Alex Djaha, James Dorado, Zach Ehrlich, Jordan Elkin, Jackie Ferrel, Mike Fiddle, Sam Finkelstein, Phoebe Fisher, Vicky Foo, Alex Frankel, Mike Freedman, Sydney Freedman, Katherine Friedland, Carly Fromm, Charlotte Gilbert, Zack Gold, Sam Golden, Juliet Gore, Gibby Graves, Stephanie Grayson, Michael Graziano, Ben Green, Rachel Greenberg, Bryan Grover, Ali Gusick, Matt Haas, Christine Haggerty, Maile Hamilton, Isabel Harris, Jenny Hartman, Mike Held, Camey Hess, Sabine Holmes, Rona Horowitz, Robbie Horwitz, Michelle Hovy, Peter Inglis, Sara Intrator, Angira Jhaveri, Lexie Keller, Olivia Keller, Matt Kerschner, Zach Kleiger, Michael Klein, Matt Krakauer, Sofia Kraushaar, Adam Krebs, Emily Kress, Julia Kronenfeld, Sammie Krouner, Andrew Lefkowitz, Daniel Leventhal, Marly Levine, Remi Levinson, Sammi Leroy, Jake Lichtenfeld, Rachel Liebowitz, Evan Linden, Will Mantell, Katie Meyers, Josh Miller, Avnee Mistry, Amy Morgan, Ali Motola, Beth Mottel, Kate Munz, Megan Murphey, Sammie Nish, Liz Novenstern, Kathleen O’Neill, Alexandra Orlander, Sophia Orlander, Cem Osma, Marissa Passick, Caroline Pecker, Ali Peikon, Nick Petrillo, Chelsea Popkin, Ethan Portnoy, Emily Pott, Tori Powell, Becca Ray, Sammi Re, Torie Recauldi, Isabel Reich, Marcus Rider, Stephen Riesert, Ariel Rosen, Ali Ross, Perry Ross, Mark Rossman, Phil Rotundo, Brett Roude, Jake Rubenstein, Mitch Rubin, Rachel Rubin, Michelle Ruth, Oliver Saks, Julie Safferstein, Sophie Salzman, Rose Schrott, Robert Schulman, Emily Schwartz, Chelsea Shapiro, Kyle Shaub, Jessie Sheff, Juliana Sheff, Alec Sherman, Phil Sieverding, Dan Simon, Rachel Slater, Erica Sperber, Lauren Stein, Dana Steinberg, Sara Steinfeld, Sarah Steinhorn, Tom Stern, Austin Swertfager, Adam Tanne, Emily Taylor, Danielle Thea, Ali Truwit, Jason Unger, Jessica Vance, Gillian Varney, Erica Walker, Shera Weintraub, Teddy Wesolowski, Owen Wexman, Nicole Witko, Brian Yormack