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High School Musical shares message of acceptance at Albion

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 12 March 2016 at 12:00 am

Photos by Tom Rivers
ALBION – Richard Flanagan plays basketball star Troy Bolton, shown here with his Wildcats teammates during a performance of Disney’s High School Musical Jr.

Albion Middle School performed the show on Friday, and twice today. The show has a message of unity among the student body, and supporting each other in trying other interests. Troy, one of the basketball stars, also enjoys singing and performing on stage, despite the initial ridicule of his teammates.

Olivia Morrison plays Ms. Darbus, the drama teacher at the school. She initially is skeptical of Troy’s interest in the drama program. This photo shows Mr. Darbus in her homeroom.

The opening scene includes the “Wildcat Cheer.” The musical shows some of the divisions among different cliques at the school, including cheerleaders, thespians, the basketball team, brainiacs, and skaters.

Jeffrey Brown portrays Jack Scott, who shares the school announcements.

Leah Kania plays Gabriella Montez and Richard Flanagan is Troy Bolton. The two first connect singing karaoke together and later earn the lead roles in the school musical. Sophia Zambito, in back, plays Kelsi Nielson.

Emma Tower plays Sharpay, an egotistical drama star, and Zachary Kilner plays her brother Ryan Evans. They are used to getting the lead roles in the school production and feel threatened by Gabriella and Troy.

There are several high-energy songs and dances in the musical. Katelyn Spierdowis plays the brainy Taylor, Chase Froman is Coach Bolton (center), and Omar Peterson plays Zeke Baylor, a basketball player who enjoys cooking.


Outrageous feats, costumes at Steampunk Fest

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 31 August 2014 at 12:00 am

Outrageous feats, costumes at Steampunk Fest

Photos by Tom Rivers
MEDINA – Pyromancy Fire Performance Troupe members Fuego Vicki and Potter Dee blow fire in one of the group’s daring pyrotechnic displays on Saturday at the Steampunk Festival at Leonard Oakes Estate Winery.

Pyromancy of Buffalo performed before a big crowd. Nearly 1,000 people attended the fourth annual festival.

“It continues to gain steam,” said Jerod Thurber, event coordinator for Leonard Oakes. “It’s a nice laid-back funky festival.”

Jacob Verghese plays the banjo and sings for the band, Pine Fever from Buffalo, at the pavilion at Leonard Oakes.

The five-member band plays American rag-time music. Besides Jacob Verghese, other members include Patrick “Thor” Johnson on upright bass, Andrew Pother on drums, Levi Van Cleve on guitar and Alex Cleve on trumpet.

Many of the festival-goers wore costumes that combined the Victorian era with the future. This group includes, from left: brothers Adam and Mike Florczyk of Hamburg, Chase from Buffalo, and Dave Lelito of Orchard Park.

The vendors sold items related to the Steampunk culture, included Victorian hats, dresses and other clothing.

George Lama of Medina takes a picture of a group of belly dancers from Batavia, the Troupe Nissa. They performed during the Steampunk Festival on Saturday at Leonard Oakes Estate Winery.

Several food trucks attended the festival, and the Steampunk logo was projected onto the cold storage building at Leonard Oakes.

Jonathan Oakes, the wine maker at Leonard Oakes Estate Winery, serves up some Steampunk Cider from the tasting room. Oakes dressed up for the festival.

Asha from Pyromancy performs with fire for the crowd.