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Roosevelt Middle School students rehearse the “Schoolhouse Rock Live Jr!” song “Just a Bill” Oct. 31. The musical will run at the school Nov. 14-16. (Photo by Paige Kieffer)

Roosevelt Middle School is going to rock Nov. 14-16 as the school presents the pop culture phenomenon “Schoolhouse Rock Live Jr!”

The musical is based on the Emmy Award-winning 1970s Saturday morning cartoon series that taught history, grammar, math and more through clever, catchy songs.

“I like how fun and easygoing this musical is,” eighth-grader Leo Green said. “It sends an important message and encouraging people to learn.”

“Schoolhouse Rock Live Jr!” follows Katie (played by Katelyn Graham), a brand new school teacher who is nervous about her first day of teaching. When she tries to relax by watching TV, various characters representing facets of her personality emerge from the set and show her how to win her students over with imagination and music, through popular “Schoolhouse Rock” songs as such as “Just a Bill,” “Lolly, Lolly, Lolly” and “Interplanet Janet.”

Artistic director Shanan Edelheit said he chose “Schoolhouse Rock Live Jr!” because of the nostalgia adults have for the show.

“The staff are more excited about this musical because we grew up with ‘Schoolhouse Rock,’” he said. “Very few students actually knew what it was until we presented it to them at auditions.”

“There will be a lot of older people who will like this show because it will bring back old memories,” Leo said.

“The musical is energetic, and it will take adults back to when they were young,” seventh-grader Coral Weber said.

The musical features a cast and crew of 44 students. Edelheit said he also chose “Schoolhouse Rock Live Jr!” because the cast and crew only had 11 weeks to bring the musical to the stage.

“This musical is so light and fun and you get to learn too,” he said. “So much of what we do has such a heavy aspect to it, and there is nothing overly serious about ‘Schoolhouse Rock Live Jr.!’ It’s just so much fun.”

Edelheit said the tight turnaround with the show taught the students more about responsibility, dedication and how to put on a show.

 

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