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‘Peter Pan’ flies into Lemont High School

Zach Snarskis plays CaptaHook (left) Aubree Tally plays Peter Pan during rehearsal for Lemont High School's theatrical producti'Peter Pan' Saturday

Zach Snarskis plays Captain Hook (left) and Aubree Tally plays Peter Pan during rehearsal for Lemont High School's theatrical production of "Peter Pan" Saturday, May 4, 2013. | Brett Roseman~Sun-Times Media

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If you go

Shows are scheduled at 7 p.m. from Thursday through Saturday at the Lemont High School Performing Arts Center. There is a special parent-teacher performance on Wednesday.

Tickets are $15 and can be purchased in advance by going to the school’s web site at www.lhs210.net and clicking on the “Peter Pan” banner on the right side of the page. Tickets can also be purchased by phone at (630) 243-3286 or at the door.

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Updated: June 16, 2013 6:05AM



Aubree Tally has played the lead role in Lemont High School’s spring musicals every year since she was a freshman. But, as a senior, Tally’s taking her role to new heights — literally.

Tally’s playing Peter Pan in the tale of the young swashbuckler who wouldn’t grow up, but flew around Neverland sparring with the infamous Captain Hook.

“This one is such a challenge for me with all the flying and sword fighting,” Tally said. “I’ve had to learn so many things I probably wouldn’t have had to learn. This is more of a challenge because on top of the fighting and the flying, I usually play the more mature women characters, and now I play an immature little boy.”

The story gave popular culture some of the more notable characters in children’s fiction: Peter Pan, Wendy, Captain Hook and Tinkerbell. But a key component of the story is how Peter Pan flies and takes Wendy and her brothers, John and Michael, with him.

And in this production, the four cast members who play Peter, Wendy, John and Michael — there’s no Tinkerbell in this one ­— are actually going to be flying. At least they’ll appear to be flying.

Tally said the cast began practicing with the flying equipment on May 1 and went through a dress rehearsal on May 4.

“I thought there was going to be more muscle soreness, but there’s more bruising from the harness,” Tally said. “I’m not really scared of heights and I know it’s safe.”

Terry Redford, who is the school’s band director and teaches theater technologies, is the musical’s producer. Redford said Hall Associates Flying Effects of DeKalb provided the flying equipment. Redford said crews from the company have been on hand at each rehearsal since the cast started flying during practice. They will also be on hand during the shows.

“Unless you do ‘Mary Poppins’ or ‘Peter Pan’ how many other shows are you going to get to fly in?” Redford said. “The flying is one of the biggest challenges. It’s the biggest overall thing to work around. Everything has to be sized and fit around the path of the flights.”

This is the first time ever the high school has put on a musical that requires the flying equipment

“We have had them come in to do a couple clinics for our (theater) tech classes and then we hired them to come in and they are supervising everything,” Redford said. “You’re not going to get any more hurt with this than (playing sports). You could get a sprained ankle if you land a little crooked, but that’s about all.”

Redford said one of the theater program’s goals at Lemont is to bring in younger children from the community and expose them to the theater. And that’s a big reason why Redford decided to do “Peter Pan,” so he could utilize children from the community in the cast and chorus.

Kyle Lillwitz, who is playing Michael, is a fifth-grader. Redford estimates that 10 to 15 children are in this year’s cast.

And then there was learning how to sword fight. Redford said cast members are using real sabers and learned from the fight director and choreographer that are involved in the “South Pacific” production up at the Marriott Theater in Lincolnshire.

Tally said the sword fighting added another dimension to her preparation for this role.

“Me and Zach (Taylor, who plays Captain Hook) are best friends and we worked Tuesday nights from 6 to 9 on the sword fighting,” Tally said. “But as weird as it sounds, it’s hard to get that immaturity back and just to loosen up and act like kids. For a lot of the cast, including me, that has been a challenge.”

Tally’s list of lead characters in the spring musical reads like a potential Tony Award winning resume. When she was a freshman, Tally was Belle in “Beauty and the Beast”, then she portrayed Cathy in “Singin’ in the Rain” and last year Tally was Velma Kelly in “Chicago.” Tally, who started doing musical theater in second grade, has also done a lot of community theater in Naperville, New Lenox and Bolingbrook.

Tally is going to study musical theater at Otterbein University in Ohio. But she also has to have surgery on both her feet a week after graduation. Tally said she injured her feet dancing.

“Aubree came to us with a lot of experience that her family has been able to help her with at a young age,” Redford said. “This is the first time one person has been our lead character for four years. That’s a big difference for us. But Aubree has re-auditioned for every part. She’s won the part each and every time.”



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