Washington School's 'Toy HiSTORY': A Lesson in Fun

A good time from start to finish

The 66th annual Washington School show opened last night to the delight of audience members of all ages. 

with a clever script written by John Schwartz, follows historical action figures George Washington, Amelia Earhart, General Patton, Cleopatra, Joan of Arc and Elvis Presley as they try to escape from the Sunshine Daycare Center. The dolls, mistakenly donated as part of a toy drive, need to find their way home before they end up in the clutches of the Toddler Room's terror: Terrible Timmy, played to great comedic effect by Kip Brindle, Washington's PTO co-president.

Hilarity ensues as the group bumps into the likes of Al Capone and Lucky Luciano, who wow the crowd with a mob-inspired version of 'My Favorite Things' or as Al would say, 'My Favorite T'ings.' Ken and Barbie also make an appearance and goad Elvis, played with confidence and swagger by Bill Fallon, into proving he is still 'The King.'

The high-energy show runs two hours in length but goes by in the blink of an eye. During intermission the crowd was treated to a first-rate rendition of The Allman Brothers' 'Jessica,' performed by the highly-talented show band, which includes Eric Ingber, Greg Demeter, Chris Bergman, Greg Salmon, Kevin Callahan, Brad Schaeffer, and Steve Little. 

Washington School students in the audience had a blast as they eagerly awaited seeing their parents on stage. Many agreed a highlight was the teachers number, in which two dozen instructors, including school principal Andy Perry, strutted their stuff to Taio Cruz's 'Dynamite.'

Other show-stoppers included the couples dance, a throwback to the disco era, in which couples hustled and grooved to the Bee Gees 'Night Fever.' The men's number, always a highly-anticipated show component, had the audience roaring with laughter as the fellas danced and chorus lined their way through Carly Rae Jepsen's 'Call Me Maybe.'

As the program, filled with support and good wishes from local businesses and residents, notes, the production "is a labor of love for the nearly 150 parents, teachers and alumni who volunteer their time to write, produce, direct, act, sing, paint, sell, promote, build, sew, design, create...and do whatever it takes on stage or behind the scenes to make each year a success." The show has become the school’s biggest fundraiser, with all proceeds going to the PTO to provide classroom resources, teacher grants and additional programs for Washington’s 300+ students.

'Toy HiSTORY' will be performed at 1:30 and 7 p.m. today. Tickets are on sale now for both performances. All seats for each performance are $12 and can be reserved online. Visit the Washington Elementary School home page—http://www.westfieldnjk12.org/Washington—click on the “2013 Washington School Show” link in the left, then “Ticket Order Form.” Or go directly to the Washington School Show web page via this link: http://www.westfieldnjk12.org/education/dept/dept.php?sectionid=1328. Tickets ordered online and prepaid can be picked up at the door one-half hour prior to each performance. For questions about tickets, contact Monica Bergin at bergin5@comcast.net.


Written by: John Schwartz

Produced by: Mike Constantinou, Mike Guarnuccio, Marc Fishman, Liz Mulholland

Directed by: Katie Garguilo and Phil Leary

Chorus Directors: Helena Cabezas, Kirsten Fallon, Ginger Clarke-Walden, Josie O'Brien, and Ester Redmond

Dance Directors: Mindy Cullen, Vanessa Schwartz and Julie Shanebrook; Paula Brotman (Teachers); Suzanne and Carl Pansini (Couples); Jill Spellman (Men)

Musical Directors: Steve Little and Brad Schaeffer

Stage Manager: Mark Fox

Sound and Lights: Aaron Weber


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