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Experience everlasting emotions at CCHS’s newest performance

March 7, 2019

Coal City High School’s upcoming performance of “Tuck Everlasting” will teach its viewers to live life to the fullest.

Director and producer Jack Micetich said the musical, which premiered on Broadway in 2016, attempts to convince viewers to focus “on the positives of the here and now.”

The story, originally written as a 1975 children’s novel by Natalie Babbitt, is family-friendly and boasts a wide appeal.

“I fell in love with this show when I saw it on Broadway,” Micetich said. “It was only open for one month, but I was fortunate enough to be there during that time. The message is something that I think will resonate with audience members of all ages.”

“There are many lessons that people can pull from this production,” agreed Coal City senior Gavyn Williams, who is cast as Jesse Tuck in the musical.

“As an actor on stage, I just want the audience members to leave our theater feeling something,” Williams said. “The emotions that we convey on stage should carry over to the audience to make them feel real things like we do.”

The emotionally-driven story strives to captivate audience members by displaying real emotions of honest, human-like characters with experiences similar to our own.

“Our students have a drive to bring authentic performances to each of their characters,” Micetich said. “They are pushing themselves to create real-life representations of these characters that people can resonate with.

“When you can see real tears streaming down their faces by the end of the show, they must be doing something right.”

Acting (and sometimes crying) alongside Williams are a group of 10 Coal City students cast as main characters, including Gabrielle Cinotto as Winnie Foster, Preston Johnson as Angus Tuck, Riley Nevin as Miles Tuck and Lauren Phillips as Mother.

Though the cast shares plenty of emotions onstage, the crew also has worked tirelessly for the story.

“Although it’s been challenging, rehearsal has been a good way to escape from everything else going on,” said Cinotto, a junior at CCHS. “It’s very easy to focus on what we need to work on while having fun at the same time.”

“We’ve been working on this show since November,” Micetich added, “and we have built almost every costume and set piece from scratch.

“To see your vision for a show come to life — and know that you and your students have built it together — is something that is indescribable.”

The cast and crew agreed “Tuck Everlasting” will entertain while convincing a speechless audience to ponder their own life choices.

Micetich believes the musical’s lessons are just as impacting as its catchy songs, including “Story of the Tucks,” “Partner in Crime” and “Time.”

The musical shows viewers that “although there will be obstacles, you have to live life to the fullest,” Micetich said.

“Life is worth living in the moment, which this show demonstrates perfectly,” agreed Johnson, a CCHS senior. “I hope people find a new appreciation for life.”

“Tuck Everlasting” will premiere at 7 p.m. Thursday at the Coal City Performing Arts Center at 655 W. Division St. Performances will take place at 7 p.m. Friday, Saturday and March 15 and 16, plus at 2 p.m. Sunday and March 17.

Tickets are $8 for adults or $5 for children, students and senior citizens and can be purchased online or at the door starting one hour prior to showtime.

Two adjudicators for the Broadway in Chicago awards, sponsored by the Illinois High School Musical Theatre Awards, will attend a performance to evaluate “Tuck Everlasting.” If the CCHS theater department is nominated for any awards, they will be invited to the ceremony this summer in New York.

For more information, find the CCHS theater department on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and other social media platforms or visit their website.