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Real Life Comes to Legacy VAPA
Posted 1/9/18

South Gate, CA, January 8, 2018– Congratulations to the author-singer-actors of the 2018 performance of Real Life: A Musical Revival, the original musical which tells the real-life stories of students from the early 1990’s at Huntington Park High School and current students at Legacy Visual and Performing Arts High School. The musical was performed at the Legacy High School Complex on January 25, 26, and 27 at 7 pm. The show was directed by Miguel Delgado with the book and script by Legacy VAPA and Huntington Park students and music and lyrics by Edward Trimis.

In the early 1990’s, when VAPA principal Dr. Edward Trimis taught music at Huntington Park High School, he created an original musical with his students based on monologues they wrote reflecting on their life experiences. Trimis wrote music and lyrics for solos and group songs as well as the dialogue connecting the stories. Real Life, A New Musical was an exploration of the lives of high school students in a similar way A Chorus Line examined the lives of broadway dancers. The show was performed for two different times throughout Los Angeles at several venues including local schools, Los Angeles City College and for the California Musical Educators Association Conference.

Now, 25 years later, Legacy VAPA produced a new version of the show incorporating the characters, stories, and songs of the original show with additional stories and songs based on the lives of our new cast, 11th and 12th grade students at Legacy Visual and Performing Arts High School. The new show includes most of the songs and monologues from the original show plus new songs and new stories/monologues from the new cast. In all, there is a cast of 7 performers playing 21 roles including 15 all-original songs, 10 songs from the original show and 5 brand-new songs. The stories are compelling, the songs and powerful, and the musical does something we all need to do, give the students the opportunity to tell their stories with creativity, expression, and passion to build an understanding and compassion for us by experiencing a small part of what they have gone through in their short lives.

 

Original cast members and other VIPs plan attended the opening night performance on January 25 and a reception following the show. The company is producing a cast album and a DVD of one of the performances.

 


 

At one point towards the beginning of the show, Andrea talks about the show to a cast member who is understating its importance. Andrea: We are trying to do something here, make something happen.  You’re wrong on this one. This IS a big deal. This is special and our stories do matter. Try to get this. By us telling our stories, we are speaking for everyone else who does not have a voice. We are their voice. It matters. It’s important.  We’re making history here. I am so grateful the company is doing this show. Reality. Reality. Reality is big! Reality is what people want. There are dozens of shows built around the real lives of people. By seeing our stories, we validate them and we validate the stories for everyone else who can’t tell them. These are OUR real lives. Our story. But really, everyone’s story.

 

In a time when student voice in increasingly important in our schools, and a time when shows like Hamilton and films like La La Land remind us of the relevance and importance of musicals, this performance of Real Life is especially timely.

 

It has been an amazing experience, Trimis explains. The fact that our students can tell their own life stories on stage and sing songs written especially for them is an opportunity most students will never be able to take advantage of. As in the first version of Real Life, the monologues are emotional, powerful, and inspiring. These are true stories that will touch many in the audience: stories about divorce, death, new jobs, new loves, school, performing, and prejudice. The songs complement the monologues in a rich and authentic way. The whole experience is even more meaningful in that we will original cast members from 25 years ago at the performance, seeing the new students perform their monologues and songs from the original show.

 

Real Life signals the start of the annual Musical Theatre Workshop, the third year of VAPA’s Writing for Musical Theatre Program, when students create and produce original musicals. Several students are in Year 2 of the program and will be producing their original musical next school year (as part of the program, they are required to participate, perform, and co-produce an original musical in Year 2). Two of the performers, Jessica Nava and Maria Hernandez, were winners of the Foundation for New American Musicals 2017 Show Search competition. Their full-length original musical, Grandma’s Keeper, will be performed in next year’s Musical Theatre Workshop. Legacy VAPA is finalizing their proposal to add a Musical Theatre and Media Arts Magnet to their campus, the first in LAUSD, pending school board approval.

 

Link for Real Life Facebook Page: Click here

Link for Playbill: Click here

FB Story: http://bit.ly/2FdAT6G

MusiCast PodCast Link (#2): https://apple.co/2qG0jXr

FB Event Link: http://bit.ly/2CHXrL2