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Sing on! JE Theatre enlists talent from across CNY for 'A Broadway Celebration'

Pick the show, then the players. This is the order Drew Deapo had grown accustomed to after three years of directing the Jordan-Elbridge Community Theatre summer shows and six years as technical director for productions at JE High School.

For this year's production of "A Broadway Celebration," the selection process was just the opposite.

"Once we heard everyone audition, then we put the show together," Deapo said. Songs were chosen based on the talent, of which Deapo said there was no shortage.

"We're really fortunate to have the amount of talent that we have on board with us," Deapo said. "And we're really lucky, too, because we have some recent high school graduates who just became eligible to perform with us."

2010 graduates from Jordan-Elbridge acting in the show include Elliot Kline, Kyle Alpha, Matthew Sullivan, Briana Duger, Samantha Lewis and Melanie Zehner.

Deapo is joined by his wife, Denise, the show's production coordinator. Denise is a music teacher at Jordan-Elbridge High School where she has directed over 35 productions.

Ramsdell Middle School music teacher Maria Hare is the show's pit band director and Jason Furney is the technical director. Costumers for the show are Joan Hunter and Becky O'Hara.

A Broadway Celebration features songs from over 24 musicals, including Ragtime, Wicked, Chicago and Phantom of the Opera. Arrangements were done by Alex Graham, an adjunct professor of music composition at Syracuse University.

To teach all those songs to the cast, JE Community Theatre brought in a couple of vocal directors with years of experience between them. Dan Williams accompanies choral groups at JE High School and gives private voice lessons. He recently served as vocal director for Fabius Pompey's spring production of "Bye Bye Birdie." Bridget Moriarty is an adjunct professor of voice at Syracuse University and Oswego State.

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