Tonawanda News — — “Girls Just Want to Have Fun,” Cyndi Lauper, 1985
For the Kaeselau family of Tonawanda, the show is a family affair.
At 4, AJ Kaeselau is already a IGC veteran, while Nora, 2, made her debut this year and their father, Scott Kaeselau, plays teacher Mr. Cocker. While not on stage, mom Jenny Kaeselau might have been the busiest of all, helping to get the youngest cast members costumed and shepherding them on stage for their scenes.
As a school assembly took place on stage, Jenny Kaeselau and other parents suited up a little Jedi (AJ), assorted small Princess Leias and other children for a scene in which they parade across stage in costume or carrying stars.
“It’s wonderful,” she said of IGC. “They take everyone. Everyone helps out in different ways. This has become our summer activity, and it’s been a great family activity we can all do together ...
“And now I have to run in one minute to get them on stage. Sometimes Nora cooperates, and sometimes she doesn’t.”
“Believe it or not, I’m walking on air/I never thought I could feel so free/Flying away on a wing and a prayer/Who could it be? Believe it or not, it’s just me.”
— “Believe It or Not,” Joey Scarbury, 1981
The school drama continues on stage with rivalries, a new girl in school (of course) and an “I’m Gonna Be (500 Miles)” musical duel between the Palmer and Feldman characters (complete with “kilts” and prop guitars like The Proclaimers back in 1988). There’s a concert, there’s a party, there’s a broken heart or two.
Local resident Dave Siedlecki was walking in Niawanda Park and stopped to watch the show.
“To get the kids to do this and all the parents to be involved ... it’s great. Especially with all the ways they’re cutting the arts at all the schools,” he said. “I marvel at it, to see the kids putting themselves out there like that. I wish I’d had the courage to do it when I was in school.”