Spectators at can expect an uplifting and funny underdog story during Cortez Middle School’s production of the musical “Adventures of a Comic Book Artist” this weekend.
Performances are Friday, Nov. 5, at 7 p.m. and Saturday, Nov. 6, at 2 p.m. and 7 p.m. Tickets are $8 for adults, $5 for children, seniors and MCHS students and free for CMS students and staff, MCHS staff children under 2.
Eighth-grader Jadon Cruzan, who plays lead character Stanley Leonard Sappovitz, said the show features great fight scenes and dances.
“It’s an uplifting story,” Jadon said. “You’ll definitely get a laugh.”
His character is a janitor at Wonder Comics who dreams of becoming a comic book artist, but is unnoticed by the company boss, Mr. Wunderman. When Mr. Wunderman orders a set of magical pens to try and boost business, Stanley’s comic book characters finally come to life.
Seventh-grader Koral Jackson plays Doctor Shock Clocks, a supervillain clad in a rainbow wig who has the ability to stop time at the snap of a finger. She said the dances in the show are well-choreographed, and the audience will be surprised by the production.
“It’s probably going to be unexpected,” Koral said.
Dr. Shock Clocks causes mayhem in the town, leading to a climactic battle between the Doc, Stanley, and other superheroes such as Star Guy, Triple Time, Blossom and Wombat Woman. The show also features two narrators and a backdrop of colorful, comic book-inspired sets.
The theme for this year’s drama season at CMS is “Stand Strong, Stand True,” and this show fits in that theme because the cast members get to play superheroes, co-director Angela Gabardi said.
“We wanted to find shows that helped kids find their voice,” she said.
Gabardi and co-director Marla Sitton picked the show in part because comedy musicals that are appropriate for middle school casts are rare, Gabardi said.
Sitton said it’s just the second year that CMS has produced a musical. The show provides another creative outlet for students and helps prepare them for similar activities in high school, she said.
After producing “Pirates of Penzance” last year, the directors wanted to pick a musical with more roles fit for middle schooler, Sitton said.
“I think everyone wants to be a superhero,” she said.
Gabardi said the production fits the current group of drama students. They get to be over the top, but they also get to showcase their talents with some great acting, singing and dancing, she said.
“They own it,” Gabardi said. “These are goofy, funny kids who are also really talented.”