From Wildwood Crest to Broadway

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Lois Tomalino, Bonnie Lynch, Barbara Tomalino, Dotty Hentges, Marion Sandman and Kathy Randle with Lady Liberty in New York City. Lois Tomalino, Bonnie Lynch, Barbara Tomalino, Dotty Hentges, Marion Sandman and Kathy Randle with Lady Liberty in New York City. Recently, I was able to attend two theater productions: The first in Wildwood Crest at Crest Memorial School and the other on Broadway to see the Tony award-winning play “Once.” To be perfectly honest, the production of “The Little Mermaid” at Crest was so much fun, I liked it better than Broadway. The sets were done by Mary O’Donnell along with the help of many. The fabulous costumes were made by Cathy Toland, a teacher at the school, and her daughter, Brittany, along with Melissa Raucci and Jean Wotring.

Under the watchful eye of Marilyn Glenn and Krista Fitzsimmons, the production was terrific. The students practiced so long and hard that it showed when the production was complete. Ariel was played to perfection by Madison Hunt, who has starred in other school productions, and Justina DeRitis did a great job as Ursula.

Eddie Masterson played Scuttle, Flounder was Alexa Lord and King Triton was portrayed by Danny Collins. Flotsam and Jetsam were done by Michael Chiolo and John Feraco. The “Mersisters” were played by Jen Collins, Phoebe Melchiorre, Kacie Reiss, Madison Compare, Katie McCullen and Sarah Stuart. Sea creatures were portrayed by Christina Adams, Abby Fuscaldo, Ally Boehm, Carli Johnson, Carly Phy, Liberty Konides, Malin Marius, Grace Stuart, Morgan McGough, Bella Feraco, Kyle Killen and Nik Finnochiaro. Many of the students played dual roles on stage.

Fred Spiewak was Prince Eric, Anders Marius was Chef Louis, Patrick Wood was Grimsby, Alan Rendzak was Pilot, and Bella Feraco was Carlotta.

The cast was remarkable and after the show I was able to meet up with parents Bonnie Feraco with Bella and John, Kathleen Chiolo with Michael, Francine Finnochiaro with Nik, Tracey and Brian Melchiorre, with Phoebe, Kjersti and Jason Koskinen with Anders and Malin Marius, and Tom and Barbara Hunt with Madison.

The following Wednesday, the Greater Wildwood Chamber of Commerce sponsored the annual trip to New York City to see a Broadway musical and this year it was “Once,” the story of a Czech woman who falls in love with an Irish man. Every scene was done on the same stage with no moving of scenery, just the cast. It reminded me of summer stage and it was very well done. The trip had 100 people on two buses. There was time for lunch, shopping and dinner.

On the trip were Jackie Mikulski, Jane Shell, Sharon Stocker, Michele Mettler, Sandy Muracco, Ed and Bobbi Olwell, Jana Belasen, Carol and Jerry Zdenek, and Barbara Zuzulock, just to mention a few. Many prizes were donated to the chamber and the proceeds went to the Chamber Foundation for scholarships that are given every spring. The weather held out and on the way home we watched a movie.

Tom and Barbara Hunt flank their daughter Madison, The Little Mermaid. Tom and Barbara Hunt flank their daughter Madison, The Little Mermaid.

Justina DeRitis as Ursula. Justina DeRitis as Ursula.

Sharon Stocker, Harriet Passerelli, and Jane Shell in front of the Broadway hit, “Once.” Sharon Stocker, Harriet Passerelli, and Jane Shell in front of the Broadway hit, “Once.”

Rita Peca and Joann Roberts going to New York City. Rita Peca and Joann Roberts going to New York City.

The finale. The finale.

Alexa Lord and Danny Collins. Alexa Lord and Danny Collins.  

  Kjersti and Jason Koskinen, with children Anders and Malin Marius. Kjersti and Jason Koskinen, with children Anders and Malin Marius.

Ally Boehm, Carly Phy, Abby Fuscaldo, Christina Adams and Grace Stuart. Ally Boehm, Carly Phy, Abby Fuscaldo, Christina Adams and Grace Stuart.

Alan Rendzak, Adam Wolfe, Eddie Materson and Patrick Wood. Alan Rendzak, Adam Wolfe, Eddie Materson and Patrick Wood.

Michael Chiolo and John Feraco. Michael Chiolo and John Feraco.


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