The Yankees have their “core four” — Derek Jeter, Jorge Posada, Mariano Rivera and Andy Pettitte — players who were present at the creation of the new Yankees dynasty in 1996.
<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=82969510001&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=82969510001&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>At Alexander Hamilton High School in Elmsford, director Harry Rios has about 10 students — and an all-volunteer creative team — with whom he hopes to build a theater program.
There’s no tradition of theater at Alexander Hamilton, no drama experience, no drama program.
But when Rios, in his first year at the school, “came across a little bit of money in the budget that wasn’t going to be there next year,” he set out to change that.
That change begins with this weekend’s production of “Little Shop of Horrors,” the Alan Menken-Howard Ashman doo-wop musical about a nebbishy Skid Row flower-shop clerk and a plant that is out to take over the world.
It is the first big-book musical at the school in many years.
“The hard part is getting students who are so new to drama accustomed to the rigors of memorizing the script and working on character development,” Rios says.
Robert Muller, 17, a senior, plays Seymour Krelborn.
Muller is involved in New Rochelle Opera and will be on stage for “Turandot” at the end of June, but he is new to this musical-theater thing.
“Seymour’s a nerd and I’m not a nerd at all,” Muller says. “But I’m working on it.”
He says the song “Suddenly Seymour” — in which he tells Audrey that he’s her guy — is a turning point.
Lyan-Joy Lugay, 15, a sophomore, plays Audrey, the put-upon flower-shop girl and Seymour’s love interest.
Lugay, who moved to Elmsford last year from the Commonwealth of Dominica in the Caribbean, is as soft-spoken as can be.
Her take on “Suddenly Seymour” is a mix of emotion for Audrey. “She’s shocked but happy at the same time.”
You can’t have “Little Shop” without a giant plant, and for that, Rios turned to professional puppeteer Bill Diamond of Cornwall.
“Bill really takes it to the next level for the kids,” Rios says.
While Diamond does his thing — from inside an oversized pod — Tejan Edwards will provide the voice of Audrey II.
The school’s administration has dressed up the Hamilton auditorium for the occasion, Rios says, and the PTA raised money and was instrumental in making this weekend’s show possible.
Rios and his team — stage manager Melissa Winton, sound engineer Jasmine Holloman, and vocal director Vicki DeMagistris — aren’t getting paid for their work on the show.
“It’s all volunteer,” Rios says with a mix of pride and weariness borne of long rehearsals and the wearing of many hats. He is producer, director, choreographer, musical director and conductor.
The orchestra includes DeMagistris and Muller’s mom, Susan, on keyboards, Valhalla High School junior Nick Athanasatos on drums and Dave Cartategui on bass.
It is all very much a work in progress, the director-producer-conductor-choreographer says.
“We’re trying to draw kids into different experiences, to diversify the school,” says Rios, who is also planning to bring a marching band to Hamilton.
“These kids are working tremendously hard,” he says.
Rios says he hopes this is the start of something big.
“The school has given us enough to work with to get us started and to put on an amazing show here. I think people are going to be genuinely surprised.”
Right down to their core.