Bedford High School students were shocked and saddened last week to learn that their production of LEGALLY BLONDE, scheduled to be performed March 11 through 14, could not go on due to the risks of COVID-19 transmission.
Turns out, they weren’t alone: thousands of students across the country faced similar fates, as schools closed and residents were encouraged to practice social distancing. Broadway veteran Laura Benanti posted an invitation on Twitter: send her pictures and clips of cancelled shows using the hashtag #SunshineSongs, and she’d retweet them to her followers.
BHS musical director Katrina Faulstich sent a clip from the show’s opening number and posted to the hashtag. Soon the national media picked up the story, and Teen Vogue weekend editor De Elizabeth got in touch with Ms. Faulstich and a few other high school directors for their reflections on the experience.
The story, posted here, features Ms. Faulstich’s reflections, a video clip, and a picture from dress rehearsal by Bedford resident and musical parent alumnus Rick Fisette: https://www.teenvogue.com/story/broadway-laura-benanti-theater-performance-videos-coronavirus
Bedford’s resident shutterbug Jeff Hoyland also took photos at dress rehearsal, which you can find on his Bedford Snapshots Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/pg/BedfordSnapshots/photos/?tab=album&album_id=2947643308626006&ref=page_internal
Images in the gallery below are all (c) Jeff JHO Hoyland, 2020 and represent only a very small fraction of the pictures in the Bedford Snapshots Facebook album ~ Click each one to see it at full size.
Ms. Faulstich and the school district are still hopeful that the show can be performed publicly later in the spring. As she said, “I want to thank everyone, both in the Bedford community and throughout the country, for giving us support. If our full show can’t be seen right now, it’s comforting to have folks from near and far viewing our short video clip and cheering us on. Please keep on sharing the love to our BHS theater kids — they really appreciate it! Though social media is comforting in the moment, we desperately hope that we get to perform our show later on for a live audience. It’s truly a special one.”
JGMS’s upcoming production of FROZEN JR., which was slated to run the first week of April, is also on hold while the district remains closed.