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COVID-19: High School In Westchester Presenting Musical Online

The Varley Players of Byram Hills High School will be debuting “A Night On Broadway” in a truly unique way - Virtually.
The Varley Players of Byram Hills High School will be debuting “A Night On Broadway” in a truly unique way - Virtually. Photo Credit: Varley Players of Byram Hills High School

The show must go on.

That's certainly the case at a high school in Northern Westchester which will be presenting a musical online amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

On Tuesday, Dec. 1, the Varley Players of Byram Hills High School in Armonk will be debuting “A Night On Broadway” in a truly unique way - Virtually. 

No stage. No sets. No costumes. No lighting. No cast party. But these talented students are counting on a vast audience - online.

“I miss the camaraderie we normally share when rehearsing a show," sophomore Matthew Giovannetti said, "but it was great that we could perform songs from a wider range of musical styles and periods.” 

Giovannetti has previously appeared on the Byram Hills stage in "Peter and the Starcatcher" and "Guys and Dolls."

“We had to do a show, both for ourselves and the community,” said Theatre Director John Lopez. “What could be possible to produce even if we were unable to attend school for the semester?” 

 He told students to focus on learning to connect to a song’s text, perform it in their living room with heart, and record on a phone if needed.

Auditions were remote, and students chose songs to fit the general theme of their journeys, remembrances, and new beginning.

The result was a mix of Broadway songs and a musical cabaret.

“A virtual performance can be just as fun and exciting as a live show,” said Christine Parisi, a Byram Hills junior. “We worked so hard, practicing every day until it was time to film our songs, and it all paid off.” 

Parisi will be performing in four pieces for this production, including a solo of “Send in the Clowns” from "A Little Night Music."

Students did the bulk of the work during virtual meetings and even some carefully distanced ensemble rehearsals. Each performer, wearing an earbud to hear an accompaniment track, recorded practice versions and ultimately final recordings of all the songs from a quiet location in their own homes.

“The students have made us all proud,” said Lopez. “They managed to balance their stressful lives with the demands and responsibilities of rehearsing and recording their performances and pouring passion and joy into the entire process.”

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