COURTESY OF CASTLE HIGH SCHOOL
Six Broadway stars helped produce "Raise Your Voice" at Castle in September. Pictured in the Green Room at the Castle Performing Arts Center prior to opening night are Jenni Selma, left, Alex Selma, Kim Varhola, Michael Lee, Deedee Magno-Hall and Clifton Hall.
Raising their voices
Castle’s Bright Theatre hosts six performers who followed their dreams to Broadway
Six Broadway stars were here to produce a show at Castle in September in the Ronald E. Bright Theatre.
Castle High School
Na Pali 'O Ko'olau
45-386 Kaneohe Bay Drive, Kaneohe 96744
Meredith M. Maeda
Maroon, gold and white
Two of them, Alex Selma from Kaneohe and Cliffton Hall from Kailua, are Castle Performing Arts Center alumni who have succeeded in their dreams of becoming Broadway stars in New York.
The Ronald E. Bright Theatre hosted this special event and invited 12 Castle students to audition for the choral roles, backing up the Broadway veterans in their large musical numbers.
Hall graduated from Kalaheo in 1994 but went to Castle for his first three years of high school, while Selma went to Punahou. After graduating, Selma went to Loyola Marymount University in Los Angeles and got his Bachelor of Arts in theater arts with a minor in dance.
Hall went to a community college for two semesters until he was cast in "Miss Saigon." Following that, he performed in "Les Miserables" and moved to New York. Then, in 2002, he moved to Los Angeles with his wife, Deedee, with whom he now has a 6-month-old boy.
Hall is currently with a touring company of "Wicked," while Selma is in a separate production of "Wicked" in Chicago.
When asked what the most rewarding thing about this business was, Selma said, "Being able to pay the bills by doing what you love, because so many people get stuck with a job they hate and I'm very lucky I can share the talent I'm blessed with."
Hall answered, "Getting to perform and do something you love to do."
When asked what the pay is like as a Broadway performer, Hall did not give a specific number, but stated, "It's enough to have a decent living and raise a family."
When asked what the secret of life is, Hall said, "Living a happy life and achieving the goals you set for yourself, no matter how small or big they may be."
Selma simply said, "Tapioca."
"Raise Your Voice" is a Broadway revue, a concert comprised of various musical numbers that tells a story. This particular revue is about what it is like to be an Asian American in New York trying to make it in a business not meant for them.
The cast was comprised of six Broadway veterans (Alex Selma, Jenni Selma, Cliffton Hall, Deedee Magno-Hall, Michael K. Lee and Kim Varhola) and 12 Castle students (Zare Anguay, Christie Brookes, Devin Elting, Patience Kanda, Shyla Labatte, Jenny Martin, Jonathan Miller, Tippe Morlan, Rebecca Nguyen, Sky Okimoto, Kuamu Pelekai and Angelina Stokes).
The Broadway veterans have appeared in such productions as "Rent," "Les Miserables," "Miss Saigon," "Jesus Christ Superstar," "Flower Drum Song," "Thoroughly Modern Millie" and "Pacific Overtures," as well as in guest roles on various TV shows, feature films, national commercials and music videos. For example, Alex Selma was a male dancer for Jennifer Lopez in her "Love Don't Cost a Thing" music video, while Magno-Hall was part of the high school choir in "Sister Act 2."
"Raise Your Voice" played Sept. 23-25, with five shows in three days.
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Meal ticket system only adds confusion, hassles
The new ticket system in the cafeteria has caused confusion as to why there is a need for a more complicated system.
The new system stipulates that students should follow a certain order when purchasing meal tickets; this is to cover federal health regulations required at the school.
"It makes the lines longer, and it makes me have to purchase lunch tickets in the morning; otherwise, I'll be in the line all lunch," junior Marissa Tamura said.
The question "Why not use a debit system?" comes to mind. Other schools, including Kalaheo, Pearl City, Kailua, Aiea, Moanalua and Kapolei already have this system in place. It requires that money be placed into a student's account, which is forwarded to the student's identification card.
The bar code on the back is accessed to show that the student is qualified to receive a meal. If the electricity goes out, students are either referred to a ticket system or told to show their ID, sign a clipboard and pay the following morning.
This system is more convenient and less of a hassle, which I feel will benefit students.
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"What do you get out of high school?"
"Education and experience for the real world."
"Social experience and valuable ethics needed to survive in life."
Deonna Lee Loy
"An education to prep you for college, but it depends on how you do in school."
"Stress and an education ... well, not everyone receives an education. ... Oh! DOLLAR LUNCHES!"
"Good friends and no sleep."
Compiled by Marissa Tamura and Jolyn Yoneshige