Wednesday, November 13, 2019
US flag

New auditorium at Good Counsel curses the Yankees

OLNEY, Md. (March 9) — It took 60 years, but the talented students at Our Lady of Good Counsel High School now have an actual auditorium for use as a high-end stage for the performing arts.


Auditorium at Our Lady of Good Counsel H.S., Olney, Md. (Voxitatis)

The Catholic high school in Montgomery County celebrated its 60th anniversary in October, the Good Counsel Talon reported, but from the beginning, financial difficulties prevented an auditorium that was part of the initial design from being built.

“Since the school’s opening in 1958, arts productions and performances have taken place in a variety of non-traditional spaces, including gymnasiums, hallways, courtyards, dining halls, and even a former locker room known as the Falcon Hall at the Wheaton campus,” the school notes in the program booklet for this year’s production of Damn Yankees.

All that is now a part of the past.

The growth of the role of performing arts in our school created a need for a sophisticated space with cutting-edge technology to better serve our students. … Through the remarkable generosity of our donors and the financial commitment of our board of directors, Our Lady of Good Counsel finally has a dream performing arts center that enables our students’ passion, creativity, and talent to take spotlight.

The action opens in the home of Joe and Meg Boyd, and while she loves the Washington Senators and hates the Yankees as much as her husband and his band of friends, she commiserates with her fellow wives about giving up their husbands six months every year, beginning with opening day in April and ending when the Senators fail, once again, to win the pennant because of the titular team from New York.

Joe Boyd (senior Dylan Nguyen) one night makes a deal with the handsome and impeccably dressed devil, known as Mr Applegate (senior Robert Liniak). Joe’s dream has always been to play major league ball for the Senators, but lately, he would be happy if the team could just beat the Yankees and win the pennant. Mr Applegate promises him fulfillment of both dreams, but there’s a catch: he has to walk away from his wife and become a 22-year-old baseball star, Joe Hardy (junior Ian Coursey). Mr Applegate’s partner in crime is a 172-year-old, drop-dead gorgeous homewrecker, Lola (senior Eleanor Whalen), and she makes every effort to seduce Joe Hardy to stay with his life as a star and never return to his former life.

And the stardom, the victories, the impending pennant, the gushing fans, Lola—all that starts to work, except for the fact that Joe’s “heart” has always been in love with Meg (junior Emma Tarquinio). Ultimately, the story is about heart, as proclaimed in the musical number “Heart” (You gotta have heart).

The production at Good Counsel, which is set at times in a locker room, as opposed to being performed in an actual locker room at the Wheaton campus, has made the school’s investment in the auditorium worthwhile in many ways, especially the singing and the choreography. Ms Tarquinio, whose voice truly opened the show, set the stage with commanding certainty and an emphatic declaration that despite a losing record for the Senators and a husband who spends more time at home watching TV than complimenting her cooking, events unfold exactly as they should—as long as one’s heart is in the right place.

Mr Coursey brought a youthful exuberance and bliss to every note. Sure, he was living the life of a baseball star on borrowed time and a cooked-up scandal almost sent him to an eternal hell, but when he was with his teammates, whose dancing included baseball slides and cartwheels on a crowded stage, he conveyed the eternal optimism seen in so many lifelong fans of losing teams.

Mr Liniak and Ms Whalen, whose characters are perhaps the most challenging in this play, at least for high school students, maintained that devilish seduction in their eyes and body language while belting out tunes like “Whatever Lola Wants” and “Two Lost Souls.”

Finally, much of the highest-energy choreography on Maryland stages this year—gymnastics, some ballet, and lots of sophisticated blocking—came during a number that included a reporter (sophomore Rachel Kilgallon), whose role in getting to the bottom of Mr Applegate’s plot for Joe’s soul underscores how entrenched sports writers and broadcasters are in our lives, helping us enjoy sports and elevating the importance of sports stars.

Book by George Abbott and Douglass Wallop, music and lyrics by Richard Adler and Jerry Ross. In performance at Our Lady of Good Counsel High School in Olney, Md., Saturday and Sunday, March 8–9, 15–16. Directed by Kristina Friedgen (who wrote that this would be her last production at Good Counsel), Reenie Codelka (vocals), and Richard Slocum (orchestra, which included two students). The show can be rated PG-13, owing to its use of seduction, sexuality, smoking, and the supernatural.

Paul Katula is the executive editor of the Voxitatis Research Foundation, which publishes this blog. For more information, see the About page.

Recent posts

Mercury makes a transit; next in 2032

A transit of Mercury occurred today and was visible from the US, provided you had sunny skies. It was one of longest possible transits.

On the Naperville BWW racist incident

A racist incident at a Naperville, IL, sports bar indicates that the threads of racism are strong, perhaps as strong as ever.

IL bill could excuse absences to vote

A proposed law in IL could give students up to two hours during the school day so they could vote in the upcoming election.

Loan forgiveness gains some bipartisan support

One Republican from GA, who used to work under Betsy DeVos at the US Education Dept, offers a plan to forgive some student loan debt.

A band teacher is IL Teacher of the Year

IL named a band teacher the 2020 Teacher of the Year on Oct. 19. He individualizes music instruction and shares his work with 1000s.

‘Little Shop of Horrors’ bookends Halloween

Several high schools have decided to add a little spook to their musical stages in this season of Halloween. Music makes it happen.

New IL law ensures inclusion of LGBTQ+

A law will take effect next school year in IL that will require students to study LGBTQ history as part of the social studies curriculum.

MoCo doubles down on summer learning loss

Research is at least equivocal about summer learning loss, but maybe there's something to a new plan in Montgomery County, Md.

Downers North lights up the gym for Beth

Ongoing fundraising drives for a Downers Grove N. volleyball player killed by an intoxicated driver in Feb. are going strong in this western suburb.

High-payroll Yankees don’t make World Series

The World Series begins Tuesday, but some of the playoff games can teach us valuable things about youth sports, investment, etc.

Chicago teacher strike enters calendar week 2

Chicago teachers strike for the 3rd day Monday; the union wants smaller class sizes and support for paraprofessionals.

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.