Tips from a Tony Award-nominated Broadway producer and a choreographer helped set the stage for Macy Krupiczewicz to pull deep from within herself in singing, “Good Morning, Baltimore” from the musical “Hairspray.”
Rich Affannato, co-producer and director of the musical mashup “Broadway Rox,” and choreographer Gregory Treco led an auditioning workshop for 24 students in Byron Center High School’s Vocal Expressions choir, an elite award-wining group of student singers.
“He made me connect more with this song,” said Macy, a senior, who practiced auditioning during the workshop. The workshop helped prepare students to join the professional cast on stage for the rehearsal and performance of “Broadway Rox” at the VanSingel Fine Arts Center.
Affannato and Treco offered encouragement and recognition of students’ talent, working with them on sounding more present by really thinking about the lyrics. Little things make a big difference in portraying a character, Affannato said. “A really important element of being a singer is telling a story,” he said.
Affannato is the Tony Award-nominated producer of “Peter and the Starcatcher” and had roles in “Les Miserables” and “The Producers.” Treco performed in “Taboo” the Boy George musical, and was a finalist on the WB show “Popstars,” a precursor to “American Idol.”
Students joined the cast for several well-known songs in “Broadway Rox.” Numbers included “Bohemian Rhapsody,” “Aquarius,” “Dancing Queen,” “Time Warp” and “Don’t Stop Believin’.”
Working with the Pros
The New York-based crew offers a number of workshops to schools and community groups. Affannato said the goal is to offer insights, career guidance and help young singers and actors get started. “We started right where you are,” he told the class.
Choir Director Kris Ryskamp said it was a chance she didn’t want her students to miss.
“Anytime kids get an opportunity to work with professionals at any level they get a chance to see what real life is like,” she said.
“They are assessing everything about you,” explained senior Nina Dubois. “They focus on what are you going to convey when you’re onstage and I think that’s really important.”