Held at the Forum Theatre on 18 and 19 May, 140 past and present students staged musical numbers from the 35 different musicals Carey has performed in the past 40 years. Make no mistake, this was a spectacular production, starting with a fully choreographed number from the 2023 show, The Addams Family, then recalling the early days of Gilbert and Sullivan with the glorious voice of Henriette Feith (1987), who had flown in from the Netherlands for the occasion, singing 'Poor Wandering One' from The Pirates of Penzance (1987), and followed by a continuous line up of ‘golden’ numbers that evoked so many memories. Act 1 finished with stunning extracts from Les Misérables and, at the end, the whole theatre was dancing in the aisles to the songs of ABBA from Mamma Mia!. There was no shortage of tears, smiles, and sustained applause.
James Cutler (2000), in brilliant style, hosted the evening as the narrator, and Jon Willis from CVP screened some magnificent video footage of each past production as the numbers were performed. This was truly a fitting tribute to past and present performers and a wonderful celebration for the centenary year.
Musicals Through the Years
The off-stage cast was almost as large as the on-stage cast. Tim Schwerdt must take enormous credit for the artistic direction, the energy at rehearsals, and supported by so many pianists, singing specialists, and choreographers, as must the Community Engagement team (Kim Major, Grace Phillips, Erin Boyd and Julianne Brandon), Sam Ponsford (President of the OCGA as Stage Manager), Jon Willis who provided all the visual imaging, and Sally Davis conducting an orchestra that inspired the performers to heights unforeseen.
For those of us who were there at the start of this journey in 1985, this was not a ‘walk down memory lane’ but an infusion of all the images of so many Carey students who have performed with such distinction on ‘our’ stage. Thank you!
Senior School Teacher
Director of Senior School Musicals, 1996–2009