Teens are running the show at Indian River High School’s Variety Show, for one weekend only, March 27 and 28.
“We hope to continue to maintain that high level” of performance that the community is used to “and provide nice entertainment for the public,” said IRHS Music Director Nathan Mohler.
The musicians are getting creative, with a drum line, sax quartet and rocking Bruno Mars finale. There’s even an acoustic cover of Gnarls Barkley’s “Crazy.”
The lineup ranges from music to stage routines, including a comedy game show. Musical renditions include a variety of genres: country (Aaron Lewis), R&B (Whitney Houston), pop rock (One Republic), Christian music and more.
Most of the acts have live accompaniment from a 27-piece pit band.
“We have a very good variety,” Mohler said.
The student performers also decided what they wanted to put on stage, choosing their own songs and acts.
“I’ve always felt, in the music world, a performer’s gonna get more out of it [based on] what they put in,” Mohler said. “If they’re doing what they want, they’re gonna care more about it… harbor that same passion and intensity.”
The lighting, sound and stage crews are all-student run, with just a parent to help oversee things.
“It is a student-run performance. You will not hear me,” Mohler said. “You are coming out to see the kids’ efforts.”
This year, Mohler moved the pit band onstage, so all performers will share the spotlight. He compared it to a talk show, where the audience sees the band the whole time. Adding fluidity to the show, the pit band will play performers off the stage as emcees announce the next act.
Two students are emceeing the whole show.
“[They’re] very colorful, energetic people, so they’re gonna do a great job,” Mohler said.
Tickets cost $5 per person. There are about two dozen acts.
“All that money goes to support the music program,” Mohler said. “I believe the music program provides a lot of opportunities to students who wouldn’t otherwise get them.”
One such opportunity is the annual band trip. More than 100 students will travel to Walt Disney World this April to march in a Magic Kingdom parade.
“We get to perform for someone other than friends and family,” expanding their audience to thousands of Disney visitors, Mohler said.
The IRHS Variety Show is Friday and Saturday, March 27 and 28, at 6:30 p.m. in the IRHS auditorium. (Doors open at 6 p.m.) IRHS is located at 29772 Armory Road in Dagsboro.