Tonawanda News — Today, Wright lives out of state, but comes in for a few weeks every year to help with the show. “Personally, I don’t have anything else I remember about summer,” he said. “This park, here, is where my heart is. It’s been a huge labor of love.
“We have a second family of kids because they keep coming back every year.”
“Wake me up before you go-go/Cause I’m not plannin’ on going solo/Wake me up before you go-go/Take me dancing tonight.”
— “Wake Me Up Before You Go-Go,” Wham!, 1984
As the show started to the sounds of Wham!, the “Valley Girls” bounced onto stage to sing, followed by the rest of the cast. Lead Corey Palmer (played by Andrew Zuccari, 15) mused to the audience about memories of his senior year ... and dream girl Tiffany Houston, “the first girl he ever fell in love with ... and the first to ever break his heart.”
Flashback to William Ocean High School, 1989, introduction of members of all the classic high school cliques, the rivalry between Palmer and football star Michael Feldman (Connor Maxwell) the stage set for a school election and all the inherent drama in prom season.
The music turned to “Girls Just Want to Have Fun” and “Footloose.” As scenes changed, neon-bedecked best friends Katelyn Shiel and Annabella Bogart, both 11, took a break to sit and chat in the space behind the backshell before they had to be back on stage for their next scene.
While Bogart is a four-year veteran of IGC and other theater groups, this is Sheil’s first year taking part — and she loves it.
“It’s been going really well,” she said. “So far it’s really good. They have a really good time.”
“I come home in the morning light/My mother says when you gonna live your life right/Oh mother dear we’re not the fortunate ones/And girls they want to have fun/Oh girls just want to have fun.”