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May 2, 2006 > American High's Copacabana

American High's Copacabana

by Heidi Leung

Copacabana is a musical written by Barry Manilow based on his song of the same title.  Originally, when the song was first written for Manilow's record, it was not well received by the record label.  However, after rave reviews by disc jockeys, it became a hit single soaring to the top of the charts. Writers of the song, Barry Manilow, Bruce Sussman, and Jack Feldman, were approached by television personality Dick Clark to create a film based on the song.  The film won an Emmy award in 1985, and was eventually adapted to a Broadway production, which American High School is currently presenting as their Spring musical.

Stephen, an aspiring songwriter hopes his composition set in the glamorous nightclub scene of the 1940s, when "music and passion were always the fashion" will become the next hit musical.  The female lead, Lola Lamar arrives in New York City from Tulsa with dreams of becoming a star.  She lands a job at the famous Copacabana Nightclub where she meets and falls in love with a bartender named Tony.    However, while performing, Lola captures the attention of a sleezy gangster named Rico who whisks her away to his rival nightclub in Havana.  From there, Tony and the owner of the Copacabana, Sam, devise a plan to get her back. 

American High's talented cast of young performers did a smashing job with Manilow's Copacabana.  Though most people already know the story line due to the lyrics of its famous song, the songs alone are a great reason to see this musical.  April Labson (Lola) with her powerful vocals did an amazing job as usual.  Her voice never fails to impress.  Julian Armas (Tony) was a charming lead.  The two had a great connection.

The entire cast engaged the audience in laughter and suspense while the stage crew, choreographers, and orchestra put together a stellar performance.  A production with costumes for a cast of 36 and a large assortment of musical and dance numbers is difficult task, but American High did it! For those desperately waiting for summer to arrive, get an early dose through this colorful show.

Tickets can be purchased in advance at American High School's Theatre 70, Monday through Friday from 3 p.m. to 6 p.m., or at the door on show nights (box office opens 45 minutes before show). Ticket prices: Students $8, General Admission $10, Reserved $12.

Thursday, April 27 at 3:30 p.m.
April 28, 29, and May 4, 5, 6 at 7 p.m.

American High School
36300 Fremont Blvd., Fremont
(510) 796-1776  ext. 57702

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