The entire ensemble of “Cougar Cabaret” gathered on stage to perform the final two songs of the show.  The eight-member stage band that provided instrumentation is pictured to the right.

By LEIGH C. MERRIFIELD
News & Journal Editor

Lincoln High School’s Spring Production was something a little different this year.  Director Eileen Metheney called it an “adventure” and a “maiden voyage” since this was the first year the students hadn’t performed a musical play.

“I had been on maternity leave and didn’t return to school until the beginning of February, so there was just not enough time to adequately prepare for the typical plays we’ve presented in the past.  Our students who were interested in participating opted to do somewhat of a variety show,” Mrs. Metheney stated.

High school musicals today are typically Broadway-inspired and require a sizeable budget.  With cast scripts, music, costuming and set designs, the cost can be in the thousands of dollars! Although some can perhaps be pulled off for $10,000, others are more elaborate.  Take, for example, Blanchet High, a coed Catholic high school in Washington state, that produced “Barnum”, a musical based on the legendary showman P.T. Barnum, founder of the Barnum & Bailey Circus.  Students actually swung from trapezes 25 feet in the air and a teacher’s terrier was trained to jump onto and ride a pony!  Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey clowns provided face-painting tips and gag ideas.  This ‘greatest show on earth” musical at a school with an enrollment of 1,078 students came at a cost of $90,000!

“Our variety show, titled ‘Cougar Cabaret’, was certainly more budget friendly, but nevertheless still a lot of work and rehearsing.  In fact, it was perhaps harder than a musical because everything about it had to be made up; there was no script already prepared that we could order and learn.  An upside was that it did allow us to feature…

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