Chautauqua Lake to perform musical production of ‘Descendants’

Submitted Photo Chautauqua Lake Secondary School students rehearse the opening number “Rotten to the Core.”

MAYVILLE — Disney’s “Descendants: The Musical,” an adaption of the popular television movies, will be presented this week by Chautauqua Lake’s Secondary School.

The show follows the troublemaking offspring of Disney’s most famous villains who are banished from the Kingdom of Auradon. The children spend their entire lives on the Isle of the Lost until the prince of Auradon offers them a chance at redemption by allowing them to attend his preparatory school.

One of the villainous parents, Maleficent, sees the invitation as an opportunity to leave the island and regain her power. The four children have to decide whether they will go along with her scheme or learn to be good.

“The kids have grown up with this expectation that they’re evil,” said Jennifer Davis, Chautauqua Lake’s musical director. “But they realize they’re not defined by what their parents are. They can make choices for themselves and be who they want to be. If that’s different, that’s okay.”

“Descendants” features brand-new characters alongside classics such as Beauty and the Beast, Cruella de Vil and the Fairy Godmother. The show also has fun and catchy songs from the films, including “Rotten to the Core” and “Good Is the New Bad.”

Last year’s production wrapped up days before COVID-19 closed school buildings across New York state. For this year’s musical, the cast and crew have had to make changes due to the pandemic. In addition to social distancing on stage, the students also wear spacious singer’s masks.

“There’s a duty and desire to make it as safe as possible for the students while having the challenge of staying true to the art form,” according to Davis. “It helps us prioritize what’s most important. We want to create something together. We want to share it with people. So, wearing a mask that keeps us safe and protects others is workable because there are other ways we can be expressive.”

She added, “Theater, by nature, is just so flexible. There’s always a solution.”

The production will be streamed live on Saturday, June 5 at 7 p.m. Tickets for the online performance are available at www.clake.org or through the district’s Facebook page. An in-person performance will be held in the school auditorium on Friday, June 4 and is limited to family members of cast and crew due to COVID-19 restrictions.


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