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Friday, February 23, 2024

Hakuna Matata! Hauppauge Middle School’s ‘The Lion King Junior’


The Hauppauge Middle School put on its production of The Lion King Junior this past weekend.

Students brought an American classic, which originated with the 1994 film, to life, and not a seat was empty in the audience for either performance. It takes a strong staff and immense talent to create such a successful and meaningful production.

“Normally when we finish a show, I am relieved and excited to move on to the next project; this one is different,” Anthony Hayes, Music Director for the Hauppauge Middle School musicals, told The Messenger. “I am really sad to say goodbye to this production: the beautiful set and lighting, the incredible costumes and makeup, my amazing drummers and of course this stellar cast of middle school students. They were electrifying.”

“The show itself is very special. Then we added a wonderful production team, supportive parents, some amazing high school student helpers, and the most talented group of middle schoolers I have ever worked with,” Program Director Elise Siegel told The Messenger. “What you get from that, is pure magic.”

Behind all of the technical work is the artistic talent including dance, which evokes emotion throughout the show’s entirety.

Amy Dolce, also known as “Coach Amy,” choreographed The Lion King Junior at the middle school.

“The creative part about choreographing this show was making up movements to reflect the show’s African savannah setting. To watch this group of talented middle schoolers challenge themselves with the dance steps and really work hard day in and day out at rehearsals was such a rewarding experience for me,” Coach Amy told The Messenger.

She added, “The animal dancers, the lionesses, Scar and the hyenas and the grassland dancers all worked together to make each showcased number shine. I watched new friendships form as they supported each other and worked together as a unit to convey the many African animals, lionesses on a hunt, grasslands guiding the path for Simba and the menacing hyenas showing their loyalty to Scar.”

Though the next production has yet to be announced, rest assured that Hayes, Siegel, Coach Amy and all the middle school students will produce another showstopper.

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