Catholic San Francisco


(Photo courtesy Junipero Serra High School)

Tri-School actors are Notre Dame Belmont’s Veronica Goetz as Lola, Serra’s Joey Ruggiero as Mr. Applegate, Serra ‘s Nick Newman as Joe Hardy, and Mercy Burlingame’s Amanda Odaz as Meg Boyd.

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Springtime brings singing and dancing to Catholic high school stages
March 13th, 2012
By Valerie Schmalz

This spring, take a walk “Into the Woods” with Sacred Heart Cathedral Preparatory or grab your suitcase and tap dance along with Archbishop Riordan High School’s “Anything Goes.”

And, just in time for baseball season, St. Ignatius College Preparatory and Tri-School Productions are separately performing “Damn Yankees.” This spring, most of the Catholic high schools are staging classic musicals featuring classic composers and writers. As Riordan drama director Valerie O’Riordan says, “Let us tap dance our way into your hearts with de’lovely music of Cole Porter.”

“Damn Yankees,” the George Abbott musical about a Washington Senators fan who makes a pact with the devil to help his team win the league pennant, is surefire entertainment for fans of both Broadway musicals and baseball. Tri-School’s production is in March, and is staged by Junipero Serra, Notre Dame Belmont, and Mercy Burlingame, while St. Ignatius’ show is in April and May.

Convent of the Sacred Heart and Stuart Hall High School present Leonard Bernstein’s music in “On the Town,” about three sailors who fall in love during a 24-hour shore leave during World War II.

“Hairspray” will be making another Bay Area comeback with Mercy San Francisco’s production this year, based on the film written and directed by John Waters. The musical recounts a true story dating from Waters’ teen years in Baltimore during the early 1960s, where a local TV station sponsored a teen dance on weekday afternoons. “While ‘Hairspray’ lampoons the outrageous hair styles and dance moves of the early ‘60s, it also takes a serious look at the effects of prejudice,” the school notes.

SHCP’s production is full of “cockeyed characters” in Stephen Sondheim and James Lapine’s “fractured fairy tale,” says drama director Francine Torres-Kelly, including “an ambivalent Cinderella,” a bloodthirsty Little Red Riding Hood, a Prince Charming with a roving eye and a witch who raps.

While San Domenico School’s “The Drowsy Chaperone,” debuted in 2006 on Broadway, it is a homage to earlier times, with The New York Times describing it as “revved-up spoof of a 1920s song-and-dance frolic, as imagined by an obsessive 21st-century show queen.”

In the only non-musical offering of the spring lineup among Catholic high schools, Sacred Heart Preparatory in Atherton presents “The White Rose.” The play written by Lillian Groag tells the story of college students in Munich, Germany, in 1943 who were captured and executed for advocating the overthrow of Adolf Hitler and the Nazis.

Drama schedule

“Anything Goes”
Archbishop Riordan High School, Lindland Theatre, 175 Phelan Ave., San Francisco; March 23, 24, 30, 31, 8 p.m.; April 1, 2 p.m.; $5 student/senior, $8 adult; (415) 587-5866,,

“Damn Yankees”
St. Ignatius College Preparatory, Bannan Theatre, 2001 37th Ave., San Francisco; April 24, 25, 27, 28, May 1, 2, 4, 5, 7 p.m.; tickets $11 students/$16 adults purchased online at

“Damn Yankees”
Tri School Productions (Mercy Burlingame, Notre Dame Belmont, Junipero Serra), Gellert Auditorium, Serra High School, 451 W. 20th Ave., San Mateo ; March 23, 24, 30, 31, 7:30 p.m., March 25, 2 p.m.; $13 student/senior; $18 adult; (650) 345-8207, ext. 560,

Mercy San Francisco, 3250 19th Ave.; April 21, 28, 7:30 p.m., April 29, 2 p.m.; $8 student/senior, $10 adult; $12 red carpet reception, April 20, (415) 334-7941;

“Into the Woods”
Sacred Heart Cathedral Preparatory, Sister Caroline Collins DC Theater, 1100 Ellis St., San Francisco; March 16, 17, 23, 24, 7:30 p.m., March 24, 2 p.m.; $7 student/ senior, $12 adult;

“On the Town”
Convent of the Sacred Heart/Stuart Hall High School, SYUFY Theater, 2222 Broadway, San Francisco; March 15-16, 7 p.m., March 17, 2 p.m.

“The Drowsy Chaperone”
San Domenico School, 1500 Butterfield Road, San Anselmo; March 15-17, 7:30 p.m.; $7 student/senior, $15 adult;

“The White Rose”
Sacred Heart Preparatory, Campbell Center, 150 Valparaiso Ave., Atherton; March 15-17, 7:30 p.m.; $5 student/ senior; $10 adult;



From March 16, 2012 issue of Catholic San Francisco.




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