Monday, February 14, 2011

Beauty and the Beast!

Back in 2003 I had the opportunity to see a high school production of Peter Pan at Arkport Central School.  They had the flying apparatus, the licensed set, and the official Peter Pan costumes. It was the best high school performance I had EVER seen in seventeen years...until Beauty and the Beast this past weekend. 

Unbelievable. From my seat in the balcony I watched the scenes unfold. Bright coordinated colors, perfectly choreographed sets, and wonderfully precise costumes. The pit? Professional. Then came the students?  More like professional actors and actresses themselves. I closed my eyes several times during the performance and realized that I could have been in a balcony on Broadway or Toronto and heard the same level of performance. I would challenge anyone to find a better sequence of  "Be our Guest" anywhere in the country. Good luck.

After the show was much of the same. Hundreds of little ones packed the hallways looking for a glimpse of their favorite characters. As Gaston, the Beast, Belle, Lumiere, and the others made their way into the back stage area to meet and take pictures they stayed in perfect character. I actually saw some of the younger children tear up after getting a chance to meet their favorite star. Stars they were, and are. Thank you for a great performance and for making some of our younger students feel so special! I am very proud of all of you.

Beauty and the Beast erased the downtrodden feeling I had gotten at the Legislative Breakfast earlier in the day. This budget thing is going nowhere but downhill I am afraid, and the news we received from our elected officials was not pleasant. As the next weeks unfold you will begin to see the impact of the budget on our programs. I am hopeful that the first round of cuts that we made last week (62 full and part-time employees) will be the only round we will need to make.

Lastly, I am currently sitting on a committee through the Town of Camillus Parks and Recreation Department that is looking at ways to maximize and possibly refresh all of the park areas in our community. We are also looking at ways to continue to leverage our own facilities at the school since the public helps to pay for those as well.  There is a brief survey being administered through the Park and Recreation Department to assess from the community where the needs are. This survey can be accessed at

Have a great week. I will post again on Friday before we head into mid-winter break.