A birthday, a Musical (Jesus Christ Superstar), a walk in the past

Here is the meet up with the Jesus Christ Superstar star.

100 years of New Trier Choir Opera History.

The other day we had a birthday party for our youngest grandchild. As it happened, my daughter-in-law had tickets already for the 100th anniversary of the Choir Opera that produces the annual musical at New Trier Township High School. As an aside, Mary Kay went to New Trier West, her father taught at New Trier West and East, my mother-in-law worked in the Attendance office at New Trier West, and I taught at New Trier East, which then became New Trier Winnetka. One of my granddaughters did not want to go, she was having way too much fun with her cousins, so I went in her place. I must say that I really think I should go every year as the productions are totally amazing and it is good to see the place where I spent thirty years of my life.

It was a beautiful day and we found parking easily, something I really don’t remember about the school. The school has been totally modernized and along with it the parking situation. I am sure it is not perfect, but it is way better than it was in the past. I used to arrive at 6:30 AM in order to get good parking and quiet time to work without interruption.

The entire orchestra of New Trier was on the stage and the production went on right in front of it. I saw the Music Department Chair, David Ladd, who was actually directing the play. I saw a few other former colleagues from a distance. Peter Rosheger, my dynamite former colleague, conducted the orchestra in his unimitable, extremely professional way.

The production, as mentioned, was amazing. The voices and acting were the usual quality. After the play, we waited in the vestibule as my oldest granddaughter wanted to talk to the actors and get their autographs. She managed to get several and even told the kids that I was a former teacher there, not that it made any impression on them, lol.

It was a strange experience for me being there, almost as if I were walking in a dream. I miss my colleagues, and of course, the students. The politicking that comes from having many people in a building is what I don’t miss. Nonetheless, I plan on making sure that next year I go. There are so many reasons. Unlike my father-in-law, I don’t truly define myself alone from the job that I did there. There is life after New Trier!

Here is some New Trier Opera Show History: 1920-2020

The Operetta Era:
1920 H.M.S. Pinafore
1921 The Pilgrim Tercentenary Pageant
1922 The Mikado
1923 Wedding Feast of Hiawatha
1924 Robin Hood
1926 The Chimes of Normandy
1929 H.M.S. Pinafore
1931 The Pirates of Penzance
1933 The Gondoliers
1934 Iolanthe
1936 The Mikado
1937 Trial by Jury
1938 The Chimes of Normandy
1939 H.M.S. Pinafore
1940 The Pirates of Penzance
1941 The Gondoliers
1942 Iolanthe
1943 The Yeoman of the Guard
1944 H.M.S. Pinafore
1945 The Gondoliers
1946 The Pirates of Penzance
1947 Iolanthe
1948 The Mikado
1949 H.M.S. Pinafore
1950 The Yeoman of the Guard
1951 The Gondoliers
1952 Iolanthe
1953 The Pirates of Penzance
1954 The Mikado
1955 Ruddigore

The Broadway Musical Era:
1956 Brigadoon
1957 Carousel
1958 Oklahoma
1959 Plain & Fancy
1960 Lady in the Dark
1961 Finian’s Rainbow
1962 High Button Shoes
1963 Kismet
1964 Carousel
1965 Brigadoon

The East (E)/West Years (W):
1966 Once Upon a Mattress (E)
1967 The Music Man (E), Wonderful Town (W)
1968 Plain & Fancy (E), Finian’s Rainbow (W)
1969 West Side Story (E), Carnival (W)
1970 My Fair Lady (E), Guys and Dolls (W)
1971 Hello Dolly (E), Oh, What a Lovely War (W)
1972 110 in the Shade (E), Fiddler on the Roof (W)
1973 Bells are Ringing (E), Brigadoon (W)
1974 Fiddler on the Roof (E), Oklahoma (W)
1975 Mame (E), How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying (W)
1976 Oklahoma (E), The Music Man (W)
1977 Kismet (E), Once Upon a Mattress (W)
1978 Kiss Me Kate (E), Anything Goes (W)
1979 The King and I (E), Bye Bye Birdie (W)
1980 South Pacific (E), The Pajama Game (W)
1981 The Music Man (E), Annie Get Your Gun (W)

Back to One School:
1982 West Side Story
1983 Finian’s Rainbow
1984 Oklahoma
1985 Mame
1986 A Chorus Line
1987 The Pirates of Penzance
1988 Anne of Green Gables
1989 Guys and Dolls
1990 Carousel
1991 Pippin
1992 The Music Man
1993 Hello Dolly!
1994 West Side Story
1995 Phantom
1996 Guys and Dolls
1997 Me and My Girl
1998 On the Town
1999 Oklahoma
2000 The King and I
2001 Fiddler on the Roof
2002 My Favorite Year
2003 Les Miserables
2004 Brigadoon
2005 The Music Man
2006 Pippin
2007 West Side Story
2008 Guys and Dolls
2009 Carousel
2010 Thoroughly Modern Millie
2011 Les Miserables
2012 Beauty and the Beast
2013 Sweeney Todd
2014 The Pirates of Penzance
2015 Fiddler on the Roof
2016 Legally Blonde
2017 Guys and Dolls
2018 Once Upon a Mattress
2019 The Addams Family
2020 Jesus Christ Superstar

Most Frequently Performed Productions:

The Pirates of Penzance – 6
H.M.S. Pinafore – 5
Iolanthe – 4
The Mikado – 4

Broadway Musical:
Guys and Dolls – 5
The Music Man – 5
Oklahoma – 5
Brigadoon – 4
Carousel – 4
West Side Story – 4

Source of the above New Trier information is the Jesus Christ Superstar Playbill from March 8, 2020. My years at the New Trier Winnetka Campus were from 1977 to 2007.

About Richard Koerner

Sixty something, father, papi, educator, organizer, Francophile, traveler, amateur photographer, gardener, cyclist, kayaker, calligrapher, cinephile, reader, and overall renaissance type human being.
This entry was posted in Life in general, New Trier High School, Theatre, Thoughts and philosophy. Bookmark the permalink.

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