‘Reach 4 It!’ opens Nov. 1 at HRVHS

Students perform director Mark Steighner’s original work

Have you ever wondered what goes on behind the scenes of one of those “American Idol”-type reality singing shows? Now’s your chance to peek behind the curtain as the Hood River Valley High School performing arts department presents “Reach 4 It!”, a new musical.

Written and directed by HRVHS’ Mark Steighner, the musical is about the onstage performances and offstage drama at a rather distant cousin to the popular Idol, a show where the celebrities and sets are both a little faded and the contestants have reached the end of the line. Producers scheme, singers crash and burn, and there is always some doubt whether the show will even go on the air.

The production features nearly 60 student performers and, of course, a phalanx of off-stage costumers, techs and parent volunteers, including the onstage band.

“Every show we produce creates a little community,” Steighner said. “I love that so many people are willing to volunteer. Many of them no longer even have kids in our program.”

Originally, the plan was to produce “Shrek” this fall, but casting the show last spring proved to be difficult.

“We had a huge turnout for auditions, but not the right talent for Shrek,” Steighner said. “So, I thought the best thing would be to write something for the many students at hand.”

Steighner has written many full-length shows but says that the process is a lengthy one.

“However, this time I only had two months to write the script, lyrics, and music and to score everything,” he said.

Even working under the tight deadline, the show contains almost 50 musical numbers.

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“Reach 4 It!” is family-friendly and opens Nov. 1, running Nov 1-2, 8-9 and 15-16 at 7 p.m. and Nov. 2, 9, 10 and 16 at 1:30 p.m. Tickets are $8 for adults and $6 for students and children and are available at the door, Waucoma Bookstore and ShowTix4u.com.

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Parkdale third graders sing "12 Disaster Days of Christmas"

Welcome to your sing-able Christmas gift list. What follows is an emergency rendition of “12 Days of Christmas” – for outfitting your home or car in case of snow storm, earthquake, flood or other emergency. Read it as a simple list, or sing it to the tune of “12 Days” – you know, as in “ … and a partridge in a pear tree…” Not to make light of it, but the song is a familiar framework for a set of gift ideas that you could consider gathering together, even if the recipient already owns items such as a bunch of coats, tire chains and flashlights. Stores throughout the Gorge are stocked up on all these items. Buying all 12 days might be prohibitive, but here are three ideas for checking any of the dozen off your list (notations follow, 1-12.) The gift items needed to stay warm, dry and safe are also coded to suggest items in your abode (A) in your car (C) or both (B). 12 Gallons of Water (A) 11 Family meals (B) 10 Cans of propane (A) 9 Hygiene bags (B) 8 Packs of batteries (A) 7 Spare coats (B) 6 Bright red flares (C) 5 Cozy blankets (B) 4 Tire chains (C) 3 Flashlights (B) 2 cell phone chargers (B) 1 And a crush-proof first aid kit (B) Price ranges? Here’s a few quotes for days Three, Two, Four and Nine: n A family gift of flashlights (three will run $15-30, Hood River Supply, Tum-A-Lum) n Cell phone chargers (two will run $30-60) n Tire chains (basic set, $30, Les Schwab, returnable if unused for the winter) n Family meals ($100 or so should cover the basics for three or four reasonably well-fed days) n The home kit should be kept in a handy place near an exit, and remember that water needs to be replenished every few months. If you have a solid first aid kit already, switch out the gift idea with “and-a-sto-o-u-t- tub-for it-all …” Otherwise, it’s a case of assembling your home or car kits and making sure all members of the family know what the resources are and how to use them (ie flares and propane). Emergency situations are at worst life-threatening, at best deeply uncomfortable if you and your family are left without power for an extended period, or traveling and find yourself in a situation where you need to wait out a storm, lengthy traffic delay, or other crisis. Notes on the 12 gift ideas: 12 – Gallons of water: that’s one per person in a four-member family to last for three days, the recommended minimum to be prepared for utility outages. 11 – Easy-open packaged goods, energy bars, dried food and nuts are good things to include for nutrition. Think of what your family of four needs for three days to stay fortified and hydrated (see number 12). Can-opener also recommended 10 – If you have a propane camping stove, keep extra fuel handy. 9 – Hygiene bags: put packaged moistened towelettes, toilet paper, and plastic ties in large garbage bags (for personal sanitation) Resource list courtesy of Hood River County Emergency Management, Barbara Ayers, manager/ 541-386-1213. The county also reminds residents to Get a Kit, Make A Plan to connect your family if separated, and Stay Informed. See www.co.hood-river.or.us to opt-in for citizen alerts. Enlarge



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