BRISTOL - Auditions for April‚Äôs 78th Annual OM show begin Sunday, with this year‚Äôs extravaganza: ‚ÄúThis is Me!‚ÄĚ
John Gonyea, with the Older Members Association said that this year‚Äôs show will feature music from ‚ÄúThe Greatest Showman‚ÄĚ along with other ‚Äúinspirational and self-empowering music.‚ÄĚ
‚ÄúThe Greatest Showman is pretty popular but this music is more about kids facing challenges and adversity and coming out shining on the other side,‚ÄĚ he said. ‚ÄúThe message is ‚Äėwhat I‚Äôve gone through may be hard, but I‚Äôve emerged as unequivocally me.‚ÄĚ
The Older Members Association, which is affiliated with the Bristol Boys & Girls Club, boasts that the OM Show is the longest running variety show in the nation.
‚ÄúI‚Äôve done some work behind the scenes and I‚Äôve performed on the stage for six years,‚ÄĚ said Gonyea, who said that he has been an OM for four years and that his parents also participated in the show. ‚ÄúIt feels pretty good to carry on this tradition; it‚Äôs good for getting the kids out to experience something like this.‚ÄĚ
Rehearsals for this year‚Äôs show will be on Sundays, starting Sunday Jan. 6, at 2 p.m. at the Boys & Girls Club of Bristol‚Äôs Family Center at 255 West St. in the Community Room. The meeting on Jan. 6 is for everyone who wants to be in the show. Sunday‚Äôs rehearsal will be a sing-along, with an audition that will see show organizers meeting with parents and their children to follow. The rehearsal on Jan. 13 will be geared toward teens and adults. There will also be auditions for potential solos and special groups, which will be announced at a later time.
‚ÄúThe OM Show is always looking for kids,‚ÄĚ said Gonyea. ‚ÄúThis is a free activity for your children. Ages 5 to adult are welcome to join. This year, we are also welcoming acrobats and special circus-type skilled performers. We‚Äôve already got 95 people signed up and we‚Äôre hoping that there will be more by the time of the first rehearsal.‚ÄĚ
The show‚Äôs production team will include John Mazzone and Dan Newton as co-chairmen. Allen Stone, will be artistic director, Wayne Morgan is assistant director, Don Coombs is set design director, Joe D‚ÄôAdesse is tech director, Theresa Degan is musical director and choreographers will include Misty Masotti-Diakon, Lisa Maghini Santiago, Jessica Leopizzo, Kimberly Alvarado, and Erin Kunze Frechette.
‚ÄúThe production team has a lot of high energy this year,‚ÄĚ said Gonyea.
Last year, the OM show featured 115 costumed performers singing and dancing to a wide assortment of music from Disney films, musicals and television programs from all eras with elaborate sets and backdrops. There is a different theme to the show each year, with other past shows highlighting the music of different decades of the 20th century.
Those who are interested in performing should sign-up before the Jan. 6 meeting by visiting goo.gl/forms/0enIX2MyRbNBTmwK2.
The OM Show will be held April 26, at 7:30 p.m. and April 27, at 1:30 p.m. and 7:30 p.m., at Saint Paul Catholic High School, 1001 Stafford Ave.
Brian M. Johnson can be reached at 860-973-1806 or firstname.lastname@example.org.