11/08/10 — Broadway fascination gives life to production, graduation project

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Broadway fascination gives life to production, graduation project

By Phyllis Moore
Published in News on November 8, 2010 1:48 PM

Heath Radford has always had a fascination with Broadway.

He's made it as far as New York City, but has yet to see a Broadway show.

"Since I was younger, I have always liked music and stuff," he said. "It's always been one of my dreams to go to a Broadway show because I love Broadway so much. I just appreciate the theater and stuff that's around it."

So when it came time to determine his graduation project, the Wayne Early/Middle College High School senior said the ideas starting swirling around in his head.

"I was wondering, what can I do on Broadway?" he said. "My (twin) sister, Marah, suggested I do a show. I went from there, started planning it out, getting acts together.

"A lot of people that I know that are really good in the arts field, they can sing and dance, so I got them together and they're helping me with the show. ... We're doing selections and each different act that's in our show, we'll have singing, acting, show choir."

Serving as producer/director of the musical review, Radford said it has been fun taking the reins of his own version of Broadway, which also includes some of the history.

"I really enjoyed it -- telling them, 'This is what I need, and coming up with the ideas," he said. "I eat, breathe and sleep this production. I loved doing it. I'm really getting into what I want."

Principal Lee Johnson said she has been impressed with Radford's efforts to put on his own show, as well as how much support he received for the project.

"The thing that I thought was so cool was how they all pulled together to do this, and there's some very talented acts," she said. "The whole school is coming together to help him do it."

Working with so many people and picking out music for the production has been the most enjoyable part, Radford said. He estimated about 30 to 35 people are participating in the show, including members of the local Artistic Dance Academy.

"It makes me feel really good that I have got a lot of people to help out," he said. "A lot of kids at our school are really into the stuff about Broadway. I feel really good that I have this big support system for that."

While he may be in charge of the stage direction, he is quick to point out that he can't take all the credit. Betty Grantham has been particularly helpful, he said.

The work-based learning coordinator at the school will also judge the project and has been a great mentor, Radford said.

"She plans a lot of events and talent shows at the school," he said. "I will be scored on how I did, the work put into it and if it was done correctly."

The community can also judge how well he's done with the project, as "Broadway: A Reflection of Time" will be performed Tuesday night at 7 p.m. in Moffatt Auditorium on the Wayne Community College campus.

The 90-minute production is free to the public, Radford said.