• Preview: Hopewell High School rehearses 'Singin' in the Rain'

    By: Natalie Simon


    None - You know you’re in for a good time when a musical’s cast starts its rehearsal with a warm-up to the song “Get Down” by the Backstreet Boys.  Singing, dancing and even rapping to the boy band hit is how the cast of Hopewell High School’s upcoming musical “Singin’ in the Rain” gets ready to get to work.

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    This is director Celeste Beley’s eighth musical at Hopewell High School, and directing “Singin’ in the Rain” is truly a dream come true, she said.

    “I have been waiting for the chance to do this show for several years,” said Beley. “Two years ago, I realized this would be perfect for this year’s seniors.”

    Seniors Taylor Belcastro and Justin Jackovic were overwhelmingly pleased with the musical choice.  However, they both felt differently about how they were able to adapt to the characters they’re playing.

    Belcastro had never played a part like Kathy Selden. She said it was difficult to get into the mindset of Kathy, but once she found a way to get into character, she flourished.

    “I love how confident (Kathy) is. She is not afraid to stick up for herself and has such a sweet, romantic side, too,” said Belcastro.

    Jackovic, on the other hand, plays goofball Cosmo Brown. He had no trouble at all finding his inner comedian.

    “Cosmo is always joking and having a good time. It’s like I’m not even acting. I can act like myself and put on a great performance,” said Jackovic.

    One thing the two leads can agree on is their passion for musical theater and music in general. While Jackovic isn’t pursuing a college degree in musical theater, he still holds it very close to his heart. Belcastro plans on attending college for music therapy and participating in every music-related activity she can.

    “I cannot imagine not having music as a part of my life,” said Belcastro.

    And neither can Beley.

    Beley believes she is working with some amazing talent and doesn’t take it for granted. Musical theater is a huge part of her life, too. 

    Hopewell is hoping to once again be a major contender in the Henry Mancini Musical Theatre Awards, and Beley doesn’t see why the school wouldn’t be.

    With the talent she has to work with, it makes the exhaustion and frustration of directing a show worthwhile.

    “Even when we’re having a bad night, they still make us laugh. But they are all destined for very great things,” said Beley.

    “Singin’ in the Rain” runs March 9th through 11th.

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    Preview: Hopewell High School rehearses 'Singin' in the Rain'

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