Sunday, June 12, 2016

Forget Your Troubles, Cabaret at Port Richmond!

Cast of Cabaret 
When Mr. Medugno brought Cabareback to Port Richmond he thought it would be smooth sailing, but soon encountered a few rough patches including a date change, casting changes, and a few costume fixes. Originally the dates of the play were April 15 & 16, 2016 but due to technical difficulties the show had to be pushed back. With the show dates being moved almost a month back, to May 13 & 15, 2016, the cast, crew, and Mr. Medugno got a little longer to work on sets, wardrobe, and to run lines and scenes. The cast and crew also received mentoring from Roundabout Theatre Company towards bringing together the final product.
The two performances received great reviews. Some of the students in Mr. Medugno’s  drama class wrote reviews of the production.  “Eddie Nieves was very entertaining to watch,” “Kaitlynn Gonzalez wowed me with her amazing vocals,” “Everybody was amazing” said student Jayda Casiano from Medugno’s third period class. Two of the cast members wrote about their experience of being part of the production. Christina Bae stated, “...being a part of this production has been an amazing journey. I’ve never been part of a show that has such a serious storyline, so it was cool to have that experience.” Mason Crowley, who played Ernst Ludwig said, “Most might see high school as a stepping stone into college, and that’s where you take the leap into adulthood, but in reality we take leaps with decisions we make in high school.”
EMCEE Posing with Dancers
 (LtoR Top) Sasha Jara, Chloe Roberson, Eddie Nieves,
Alyssa Garcia, and Jennifer Patron
 (LtoR Bottom) Viviana Delgado, Alexa Manno,
Chelsea Romero
When sitting down with the director, Mr. Medugno was said to be very proud of the cast, crew, and band of the show. In the playbill he was interviewed about the show, he was asked a wide variety of questions. Of the questions he was asked how he compared Eddie Nieves playing the role he played (EMCEE) to his performance. Mr. Medugno’s discussed, “There is no comparison, because we both played two different versions of it. Mine was the more traditional version, originally played by Joel Grey, and Eddie is taking on the more modern depiction portrayed by Alan Cumming. Two very similar versions, but also extremely different.” “It is the best! I love being able to participate (as a staff member) in all of the activities I loved so much as a student. Why not pick up where you leave off… right?  It is very symbolic for me.  Actually, it just so happened to work out this way.  I didn’t plan it, but you know what they say, things have a way of working out mysteriously.  When we took our students last year through the Roundabout partnership to see Cabaret at Studio 54, they were so into it. I sat quietly and watched them all become enthralled in this production.  Low and behold, I started to think in my brain about the possibility of putting it on here at Port, and realized, we in fact have the dynamic talents needed to mount it.  I also felt that since I hold this show so near and dear to me, why not come back to where I ended my love for performing at Port Richmond and pick it up from there.  My last role as a student was in fact the Emcee of this production.  Coincidentally, this year marks not only the 50th anniversary for Roundabout (who we’ve partnered with), but it’s also the 50th anniversary since Cabaret first opened.  As you know Roundabout revived it, therefore it essentially is a Roundabout show as well.  So there were a lot of different things pointing me in the direction of choosing this one as my first.”
Myself being the stage manager, and having to run back stage, I felt the show ran very smoothly on the days we performed. The first performance we had a packed house, and the second performance, we had a good crowd with a little less of a crowd than the first. During the week of tech rehearsals, we ran into a few minor bumps and bruises but overall the cast and crew had a great show. The exciting part of the whole experience was being filmed for CTV a local community television station, and going to the American Airlines theatre to participate in the Student Arts Festival. At the festival, the tech team participated in a Tech Challenge consisting of two costume changes, a set change and then tying two clove hitch knots. We ended up coming in first place with a time of one minute and thirty-three seconds. Later that day, we got a quick pep-talk from Zachary Levi, and then the cast was sent backstage to open the festival. The cast did amazing and received a standing ovation for a second year.
Cabaret is a play based off of Christopher Isherwood’s travels to Berlin in 1925. Within twenty years’ time, Isherwood had his travels published in a series of short stories called The Berlin Stories. In the 1950’s the series of books were turned into the movie called I Am A Camera, which was then turned into a musical when Harold Prince obtained the rights to the movie in 1965 and was opened in 1966. The musical starred Joel Grey and Liza Minnelli, and because of the great success Harold Prince’s version was adapted back to film but held closer to the play than the original movie, it also starred Joel Grey and Liza Minnelli. The musical made its way to Port Richmond High School in 2004 where Mr. Stoebling and Ms. Delaney put on a great production. Mr. Vinnie Medugno brought the musical back to Port Richmond High School in 2015 as the Port Richmond High School Spring Musical for May of 2016.

Photos Courtesy of Port Richmond High School Instagram:

Friday, June 10, 2016

Harry Potter and the Cursed Child Part 1 & 2 Opens up in London by Brianna Messina

A new play by J.K. Rowling and Jack Thorne, Harry Potter and the Cursed Child Part 1&2,  is being presented on stage in the Palace Theatre in London. It’s the eighth story in the Harry Potter series and this will be the first story to be performed live on stage. On it gives you an inside look on the play as a whole, but it gives you little information about the plot of the play. The creators said, “It was always difficult being Harry Potter and it isn’t much easier now that he is an overworked employee of the Ministry of Magic, a husband and father of three school-age children. While Harry grapples with a past that refuses to stay where it belongs, his youngest son Albus, struggles with the weight of a family legacy he never wanted. As past and present fuse ominously, both father and son learn the uncomfortable truth: sometimes, darkness comes from unexpected places.”
    J.K. Rowling is making sure this play is being kept under wraps by trending the hashtag “#KeepTheSecrets” worldwide so people have a chance to see it before anyone spoils it. She stated in a tweet on June 8th “So, reaction to first preview was… wonderful. Feedback is, fans really do want to #KeepTheSecrets for each other’s sake. #DontBeWormtail.” Cast member Paul Thornley, who plays Ron Weasley, stated after the first preview “What an extraordinary 1st preview. Thank you to all the Potterheads for your love and support. You were amazing @HPPlayLDN #keepthesecret”. Harry Potter fans, who call themselves ‘PotterHeads’, are all ecstatic about the play opening. For those who can’t attend the play in London, they will be able to buy the script on July 31st, 2016.

Senior Week 2016 by Jessica Gottleib & Chelsea Romero

Senior Citizen Day- What better way to start off senior week than by being a senior citizen? We may be 18 now, but before we know it we will have gray hair and a walker. Hana Ahmed killed the game coming into school with a walker to portray her character as an old man. “I took this walker from my aunt who just had a double knee replacement, but don't worry she had another one.” said Hana. Another great example of being a senior citizen was Jessica Gottlieb who topped her outfit off with a one liner, “Give Grandpa a hug.”

Twin day- grab your best friend and rock the same outfit, it's as easy as that. Whether they’re best friend was a student, teacher, or dean, seniors dressed to impress. The two questions students had to ask themselves is, “who should i match?” and, “what should we wear?”

College Day- with decision day being 20 days ago, almost every senior knows where they are going to college, so we made Wednesday college shirt day. People were wearing their shirts and hats loud and proud. Jazmine Hernandez wore her Stony Brook hat and shirt said she is, “extremely excited for college and meeting new people.” Lauren Rapaport, who will be attending Suny Cortland for teaching alongside Jessica Gottlieb, hopes to further her softball career as a Cortland Red Dragon. Nowoola Awupato wore his villanova hat and shirt to show where he will be playing D1 football and making his raiders proud.

Throwback Thursday- on Throwback Thursday students revisited their favorite decade, though we don't know what they were really like, seniors portrayed what they see on tv. Amaris Lighty and Kaitlynn Nunez took on Cher and Dionne from the 90’s hit movie Clueless. “Its awesome to dress how they used to back in the day because the fashion then was so different from now,” said Amaris.

Senior Night-With the school year coming to an end, the class of 2016 are counting down the days until graduation. The senior activities started on May 16th with a Senior Spirit Week and ending the week with Senior Night. Senior Night is the official start of the goodbye and the seniors created many memories that will last a lifetime.
In the end of the week, the senior class had to wear their Senior shirts, designed by Matthew Moen. Later on that day, they were to wear the shirts to Senior Night starting at 7. The seniors met up at the tennis courts where they had four inflatable games. There was an inflatable race, basketball, a challenge to get up a ladder without falling and a castle experience where people were met with different obstacles like crocodiles and boulders being thrown at them. Catered by John’s Deli, students had the choice on four different sandwiches and three different pastas. An ice cream truck was provided as well as a cotton candy machine. “Senior Night was a really fun experience. It showed how close friendships really are out of school,” said senior Victoria Modica. The entire night, the DJ provided us with music from today’s top hits to some throwback music to spanish music. There was also a photo booth where the students could capture their memories from a great night. “Senior Night was a really good experience for me. It was a really good night and everyone came together and had fun,” said senior Nyema Williams. The night was filled with laughter and the class of 2016 will carry this amazing memory from highschool for the rest of their lives.

Graduates from the Lyfe Center Honored by Isabel Moldonado


On May 24, the graduating moms from the Lyfe Center had a special ceremony at Columbia University. There were different schools from all five boroughs present at this ceremony. The graduates met other parents who experience different struggles but overcame their obstacles and attained success. Each graduate brought two guests and their children to the ceremony. Some children walked down the aisle along with their parent. The ceremony lasted about one hour. After the ceremony graduates had food, cake and the children participated in fun activities. “Being part of the whole experience it was really wonderful, and getting too share it with my family was the best part!” said Isabel Maldonado

Drakes ‘Views’ Lived Up the Hype! by Ally Labita

The wait is finally over. After months of Drake fans waiting for “Views From the 6” to come out, the album finally dropped on April 29th, 2016. Out of the 4 albums Drake has released, I wouldn’t consider this the best one, but it’s high up there. He opens up the CD with “Keep the Family Close”, a smooth song talking about how his family will always be there even though he struggles with trust, after being betrayed by friends. Throughout the album, the mood changes. Right after “Keep the Family Close”, Drake brings up the beat of the CD with the song ‘9’, a so9ng about the impact he's made on his hometown. Every song varies with the music behind the lyrics, and that's what makes the album so enjoyable.
Out of the 20 tracks Drake gave us, 12 of them have samples from some old songs. Although Drake haters believe Drake used the samples as an easy way to get songs on the CD. However, Drake demonstrates his creativity by combining his old songs with his new ones. He added an interesting style to the new songs by either twisting the lyrics or the beat of the old songs.
If I had to pick my top 5 songs, they would have to be “Too Good” (ft Rihanna), “Still Here”, “Keep the Family Close”, “With You” (ft PARTYNEXTDOOR)  and “One Dance”. “One Dance” and Controlla have already taken over the radio. “Too Good”, “One Dance” and “Controlla” will be the songs of summer.
Views was the first album in 2016 to sell a million copies and spent two weeks on top of the billboard 200. “Doing plat, plat only” said Drake.

Wednesday, June 8, 2016

Senior Prom 2016

Port Richmond High School had its Senior Prom 2016 this past Friday. The Event kicked off at 7pm, but students started arriving at 6:30pm to be sure to get a spot on the Good Morning Port Richmond Special: Prom Live!. With a Bollywood theme, students took the meaning of the theme, to the next level with some students wearing headpieces, and special outfits that matched the theming. In the center of each table was a vase with various colored feathers of orange, pink, and purple, as well as a genie lamp and jewels.
After a few minutes settling in at the tables, and placing their dinner orders, students were called to the dance floor by Mr. Medugno, and the DJs for the night. The students heard a various selection of music from Drake's latest album to nineties hip hop to songs that got everyone dancing. The students spent about an hour dancing and mingling with each other before they were asked to find their seats and enjoy the main entrees. While the students ate they watched the Good Morning Port Richmond Prom Live! Special. Students cheered when they saw their friends on the screens that were placed in front of the DJ booth. They saw the whole special before it was uploaded to the Good Morning Port Richmond vimeo account later that night.
After the students finished their meals, they were once again back out on the dance floor dancing with each other. A little while after the main entree was served Mr. Medugno took the control of the dance camera that was perched on top of the DJ booth and had students show off their dance abilities on the camera. Soon after most students failed to realize dessert had been served and was sitting at their table because they were having too much of a great time dancing and making a few more memories as high schoolers before their graduation that is coming soon. A few students even took time out to take a few more pictures in front of the Senior Prom backdrop on the red carpet. When the time came students started to trickle out and head their separate ways. Over all the students had a great night, and its a night they will soon not forget.

Varsity Baseball by Joshua Stamer

    The varsity baseball team gave a good effort this season. The Port Richmond Raider squad posted a record of 8 wins and 8 losses. The Raiders had a talented group of players across the board. Starters Joshua Lopez, Bobby Hart, Jim Baez, Christian Harjo, James Mullaney, Angel Santiago, Khalid Lambert, Chris Masterson, and Christopher Maiorana, all played in the playoff game that took place at Randall’s Island field against Eleanor Roosevelt High School in Manhattan. Eric Benedetto was the starting pitcher and he was caught by Christian Harjo. The Raiders lost by a score of 11-1. Their run came on a passed ball, with Bobby Hart sprinting across home plate. It has been over five years since the Raider baseball team has made the playoffs. The team will return a high percentage of their roster next season and will be ready to make another playoff run.