It's closing night for TADA! YOUTH THEATER's EVERTHING ABOUT SCHOOL (ALMOST). Conceived by Eric Rockwell, Everything About School (Almost) has music and lyrics by Brad Alexander along with Daniel Acquisto, Deirdre Broderick, Helen Chayefsky, Richard Chiarappa, Van Dean, David Ganon, Keith Gordon, Bruce Keisling, Jim Lochner, Margaret Rose, Dan Shore, Shawn Sturnick, and Eddie Sugarman. Directed and choreographed by Joanna Greer, Everything About School (Almost) concludes its limited engagement at TADA! Youth Theater (15 West 28th St. 2nd Fl. New York, NY 10001) today at 4pm.
Everything About School (Almost) concludes TADA!'s season, which celebrated twenty years of working with composer Eric Rockwell. Rockwell conceived this show in 2002. It was meant to be the second installment of TADA!'s popular "Everything About" series. The "Everything About" series of musical revues focus of familiar topics for children like camp or family.
In Everything About School (Almost), we follow eight kids from elementary school through high school graduation. It's a pretty comedic look at how our childhood friendships are built and how our memories are made. Everything About School (Almost) includes popular (and pretty catchy) TADA! hits such as "I Hate Gym," "Can't keep still" and "On the Menu Today."
I was actually impressed with the abstract use of time in Everything About School (Almost). When tackling the idea of memory, the school in the play is more symbolic. Time becomes a theatrical convention. The kids count how many days they have of school and how many minutes left of class. With that, they are counting down to adulthood.
I respect the idea that TADA! felt the children in the audience could follow this idea. Sometimes they saw two times happen at once. In other instances, years passed during a simple conversation.
The Everything About School (Almost) cast is comprised of the traditional formula of TADA! Resident Youth Ensemble members. I am always pretty impressed with this cast. Every one of them is a talented kid between the ages of 8 and 18. They are all from the NY-metro area and participate in free year-round youth development offered by TADA!.
I always enjoy a TADA! performance. Yes, all of their shows are geared as Theatre for Young Audiences (traditionally referred to as a TYA show). Nonetheless, the content of the show is always compelling. It's thought provoking for kids, while remaining entertaining for adults. TADA! gives their audience far more credit than most TYA productions traditionally do.
All of the kids in the TADA! ensemble are talented. Some however are exceptionally talented. This is not your typical school play cast. When you watch a TADA! show, inevitably you know you are in the presence of some talent that might very well be uptown on Broadway in the near future.
The curtain will fall on Everything About School (Almost) today at 4pm. If you're in town, check it out. You'll definitely enjoy it. Ticket information can be found at www.tadatheater.com.